Pubudeux Upgrades an Exercise Bike with Sensors, Sound, and Video — Powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico

Building entirely new sensors into the bike, Pubudeux's latest project is effectively a low-cost Raspberry Pi Pico-powered Peloton.

Pseudonymous creator Pubudeux, who kicked off the year with an impressively eye-catching Purple Unicorn Computer build, is working on upgrading an exercise bike with new capabilities — powered by the Raspberry Pi Pico development board.

Since its launch late last month, the RP2040-powered Raspberry Pi Pico has found a home in a selection of projects ranging from games console emulation and video stream control to image capture and weather balloon tracking. Pubudeux's latest project, though, appears to be the first to bring the device into the world of fitness.

"It is a Raspberry Pi Pico board, PAM8403 amplifier board, with connections set up for an I2C LCD screen, battery voltage sensor, and infrared sensor," Pubudeux explains of his build. "This isn't the finished product, but will go inside a case and have sensors and speakers attached to it."

"I'm actually not integrating with onboard sensors but trying to add my own to the bike. Cadence was pretty easy with an IR sensor detecting pedal strokes. Resistance is the hard part so far. I am trying a force sensitive resistor but not sure how stable or accurate I will be able to get that."

Once finished, the device will offer a considerable upgrade on the bike's current capabilities — including the ability to play music through its built-in speaker or run training videos, much like commercial devices including the popular Peloton family.

Pubudeux has published images of the build to Reddit, and promises a full write-up will appear on their website once the project is complete.

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