Black & Decker puts new “motion-activated” twist on the cordless screwdriver

Users control the power tool’s variable speed and direction with a twist of the wrist

The open-source Arduino micro-controller is a very useful piece of kit which has been implemented by hackers to power countless endeavors from Musical Umbrellas to Angry Birds Slingshot Controllers. For some projects however, the flexibility of the Arduino can be overkill and it’s this issue which prompted Digispark to create a simpler, cheaper alternative – a tiny Arduino-compatible developmental circuit board that costs as little as US$12.

Portland native Erik Kettenburg was inspired to build a smaller and cheaper “Arduino-lite” after becoming frustrated with needing to harvest former projects to retrieve his Arduino board. Digispark aims to keep the price low so that it can be practical for hackers to own multiple units, leaving the diminutive open-source device in a previous project, while still able to begin another.

Just in case you hadn’t already worked it out, the word that kicks off the rather long product name refers to built-in gyroscopic technology, specifically the ISZ-650 Z-axis integrated MEMS Gyroscope from California’s Invensense. Instead of having to reach for buttons, knobs or switches on the handle of a motor-driven screwdriver, Black & Decker’s new model allows users to control the power tool’s variable speed and direction with a twist of the wrist.

Read more . . .

via Gizmag – Paul Ridden

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