Arduino Bikes Fun & Games
GPS Messenger Bag Bestows Bikers with a Better Sense of Direction

Josh wanted to wander the streets of Chicago on his bike while ensuring he was heading in the general direction of his destination. He therefore created the MapBag, a LilyPad Arduino-based “proprioceptive augmentation device.” Here’s how it works:

The MapBag contains a small microcontroller, a GPS chipset, and a series of 8 vibration motors sewn into the bag. The microcontroller constantly evaluates the wearer’s current heading and the location of magnetic North, or the relative location of a user-defined waypoint (such as home). The microcontroller informs the wearer of compass information through the vibration motors, basically allowing you to read a compass with your body.

After using the MapBag for a few weeks, the slight pulses used to convey heading information have become second nature. Most importantly, I no longer find myself using street signs or depending on landmarks to discern my position in the city’s grid.

[via Hack A Day]

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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