Let’s blow things up with your mind

Star Wars Force Trainer toy

(From CBC) A group of hackers from Kentucky have modified a popular Star Wars toy to allow users to blow up a watermelon using only their mind.

You might remember the Star Wars Force Trainer, a toy that earned some buzz when it was released in 2009. The toy includes a headset that monitors the user’s brain activity – similar to an EEG detector that measures the electrical activity along your scalp. When you concentrate hard enough, the Force Trainer blows air through a connected tube, appearing to levitate a ball contained within.

But as any fan of Star Wars knows, the most memorable uses of the Force are when the warring Jedi or Sith use it to wreak discomfort and havoc on their enemies. In the original Star Wars, Darth Vader used the Force to choke a sceptical Admiral Motti.

Members of the Louisville, Ky.-based hacker group LVL1 modified the toy to be able to trigger any event of their choosing once the headgear detects adequate brain activity. In their first project, called Mind over Melons, the device is connected to an air compressor, and then a watermelon is shoved on top.

With enough concentration, the compressor blows up a watermelon in a spectacular display of the mind. The Mind over Melons project was shown at Connect, a technology and art event in Bernheim Forest in Kentucky, in August. (read the full story)



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