Toy Star Trek Tricorder Turned Into the “Real Thing”

It’s interesting how “the future” sneaks up on you. One obvious source of inspiration for the products themselves, and for the people that…

Jeremy S. Cook
2 years ago

It’s interesting how “the future” sneaks up on you. One obvious source of inspiration for the products themselves, and for the people that would eventually build the data-driven world we live in today, is Star Trek. One of the most intriguing pieces of tech that these future-dwellers possessed was a device called a Tricorder, giving them all kinds of useful situational info. Though we aren’t quite to that stage in computer development — yet — that didn’t stop YouTuber obso1337 from turning a toy tricorder into something that works in a more realistic way using a Raspberry Pi Zero.

The Picorder — which “may” not tell you all the info that Enterprise crew could glean from their devices — still features several sensors, such as temperature, acceleration, and magnetic field strength. This data is shown as a series of sliders or trend lines on a small display embedded in the top portion of the gadget. An 8x8 LED matrix included on the Sense HAT for data collection is used to power a sort of secondary blinking display.

Of note is that though obso1337 is a “TNG guy, born and raised,” in order to easily fit all of the needed components, he used the larger Original Series device as a housing. For much much more detail on this build, you can check out the video below and finds its code on GitHub.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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