Modded iPod Nano Bot Dances to Its Own Music

By Jennifer Welsh | September 24, 2010 11:47 am

This little 6th generation iPod nano just wants to dance. Because that’s what its human programmed it to do. Kazu Terasaki, also known as YouTube user PachimonDotCom, is a Japanese software engineer from Silicon Valley, CA who is addicted to making apple products walk around.

He has been working on this project for years, hoping to create a robo-legs product that could give any gadget the ability to walk around, says a GetRobo post about Kazu’s walking objects project from 2008:

Kazu’s expertise and motto is “to surprise people by creating new stuff using just ordinary technology.” His ideas and perspective have brought in a breath of fresh air to the robotics community in Japan where engineers generally want to use the most advanced and expensive technologies.

To give this little bot legs, Kazu attached two servos (one for each leg) and a battery to the back of the iPod. To control the legs, he used the signal from the headphone jack as a pulse-width modification signal, which means it can tell the battery to provide intermediate amounts of power between a fully on and a fully off state.

Kazu even added googly eyes, and Mashable figured out his trick:

Getting the nano to display an animation was done with a simple trick, since the nano is not iOS-based and doesn’t allow the installation of third party apps. It does, however, display animated GIFs, and that’s how the eye animation was created.

Before robo-sizing the nano, Kazu had also given legs to a couple of iPhones and an iPad. Let’s just say he is is the wind beneath their servos, check out their dance troupe in the video below.

Related content:
Not Exactly Rocket Science: Enter the nano-spiders – independent walking robots made of DNA
80beats: Japanese Consortium: We’ll Send a Humanoid Robot to Walk on the Moon
80beats: Meet the First Robot That Can Walk on Sand (and Maybe Sandy Planets)
Discover Magazine: The Robot Invasion Is Coming—and That’s a Good Thing
Discover Magazine: The Rise of the Machines Is Not Going as We Expected

Videos: Youtube/PachimonDotCom

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: iPhone, ipod nano, robot, walking
  • MT-LA

    Slight nit-pick:
    “…he used the signal from the headphone jack as a pulse-width modification signal, which means it can tell the battery to provide intermediate amounts of power between a fully on and a fully off state.”

    A pulse width modulated (PWM) signal is always either fully on or fully off. It just alternates between on and off very fast. The battery never provides an intermediate amount of power. The duty cycle of the power can be anywhere between 0 and 100%, but the power level itself is either 0 or 100%.

  • http://www.tvtopten.com Linda

    This is sooo cool. If only I could buy one of these. I want my ipod to be able to walk :)

  • Jennifer Welsh

    Hi dear readers,

    Thanks for commenting. MT-LA, thanks for the info. I don’t have much of a background in electronics or robotics, so I could always use a little lesson.

    Linda, If you like this you should check out one of PachimonDotCom’s older videos which is kind of adorabuhls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29wQ66_1ybo

    Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone!

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