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Hardware Hacking Technology

Hacked Amazon Echo Controls a Wheelchair (roboticstrends.com) 23

An anonymous reader writes with a cool hack for making an electric wheelchair voice activated. Robotics Trends reports: "Amazon Echo, which is designed around your voice, answers to 'Alexa' and can tell you scores, read your book, play your music, or check your calendar. And if you have a smart home, Echo can control lights and other technology. Bob Paradiso, however, wondered if he 'could push Echo's utility a little further.' He certainly did. Paradiso turned an electric wheelchair into a voice-controlled wheelchair using Echo, a Raspberry Pi and Arduino Uno. Echo thinks it's turning lights on and off, but it's really controlling the wheelchair. Paradiso says, 'Alexa, turn on left 4' and the wheelchair spins. He then says, 'Alexa, turn on forward 4' and the wheelchair moves forward."
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Hacked Amazon Echo Controls a Wheelchair

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  • What happens if the disabled person in the wheel chair is waiting for the cross light to go green, when someone next to them uses their Amazon Echo to remotely turn their lights on at home?

    I don't think voice control is appropriate for some things.

    • You can personalize most voice recognition software only to the user. Even Google's smartphone search allows you to do this.
    • What happens if the disabled person in the wheel chair is waiting for the cross light to go green, when someone next to them uses their Amazon Echo to remotely turn their lights on at home?

      An Amazon Echo is not a mobile device. It plugs into a wall outlet, and is about the size and shape of a Pringles can. No one else is going to be using one on the street, and it makes little practical sense to use one as a wheelchair controller either.

      I have an Amazon Echo in my kitchen. While I am preparing breakfast, it briefs me on my daily schedule and the news headlines. I can use it to set a quick timer, or to add items to my shopping list. I can request a specific song, and it will play it, or I

  • One day someone will hack those wheelchairs and you'll find thousands of wheelchairs swarming down the road without anyone in them. Just watch.

  • Opening and closing the side door on a handicapped van, extending or retracting the chair lift, etc. And in the home, not just lights, but tv, computer, etc that people with MS have a hard time using because spasms make it hard to use the remote.

  • okay so there's an ad that's showed up on Slashdot a few times with a kind of neat glowing keychain but you need to enter your email address to even browse the site? It's like someone took pinterest and somehow made it even worse, you can't even look at a product page at all without making an account. Is it supposed to be like thinkgeek for people who don't already get enough spam? What even is their game plan here, I don't get it.

  • I believe there are easier, and more secure ways to do this than use an Echo.
  • Now the killer app to implement is Logo [wikipedia.org] with a wheelchair as the turtle
  • I built a working voice control wheelchair 10 years ago for senior project.

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