Jay Doscher's Latest Cyberdeck Takes Inspiration from The Matrix, Lives on an Articulated Arm

The ARM Terminal aims to answer the question of "what if the humanity of The Matrix had access to 3D printers?"

Gareth Halfacree
a month ago3D Printing
Doscher's latest cyberdeck is inspired by The Matrix. (📷: Jay Doscher)

Jay Doscher is back with another Raspberry Pi-powered "cyberdeck," this time opting to mount his creation on a mechanical arm so it can be used as a secondary system on a desk — and taking his inspiration from the gritty world of The Matrix.

Doscher's last cyberdeck design came late last year in the form of a ruggedized all-in-one miniature computer system, combining a mechanical keyboard, display, connectors, an Ethernet switch, and a Raspberry Pi in a portable unit that could withstand everything up to and including an electromagnetic pulse attack — providing, that is, it was properly stored in its foil-shielded cardboard box.

The latest design, though, is considerably less rugged — and takes its inspiration from a rather popular science fiction film. "I love the movie The Matrix, and I often wonder about many movies like it if they had included 3D printing or other newer tech in their universe," Doscher explains. "I loved the look and idea of a floating terminal, and many of us already have monitors on arms instead of just sitting on our desk. So why not a arm-mounted cyberdeck? That’s what this project is, and I’m calling it the ARM Terminal.

"The key ideas for the project were: make the parts reusable. I often scrap half finished projects, and many times old parts can’t be reused. I thought it would be cool to make some parts generic enough that they could see use after this project is done with them. I want the parts to be easy to modify- whether that’s a design that’s easy to change in Tinkercad, or easy to zip tie or modify later. This goal also means that it’s easy to work on - and I wanted to make a project as easy as possible for people who want to recreate it.

"The parts need to be modular — I really want to be able to replace or upgrade certain parts without redesigning the whole thing. This makes the project bigger, but it also makes it a little easier to work on."

The finished design is constructed from 3D-printed parts, vented more for aesthetics and to save on plastic than for cooling purposes. A mount holds a 7" touchscreen display — the same model as in Doscher's earlier Raspberry Pi Recovery Kit — and the whole unit, including the Raspberry Pi which powers it all plus cyberpunk-esque switches and an additional VFD display, is mounted to a VESA-compatible articulated monitor arm.

Doscher's full write-up is available on his blog, along with links to purchase the 3D-printed parts or download the design files to make your own.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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