Make Your Own Tricorder

Another kid who was inspired by Star Trek grows up and makes a functional Tricorder, then places all the specifications, instructions, and schematics online for anyone to use or mod. Nerd win!

Peter Jansen has made two versions so far in his attempt to get as many sensors as possible into a single handheld device. Thus far, he’s equipped his Science Tricorder Mark 2 prototype with “ten different sensing modalities, organized into three main categories: atmospheric sensors, electromagnetic sensors, and spatial sensors.” He’s open-sourced the whole thing in the hope that other tinkerers will be able to take the designs even further.

In similar news, Qualcomm is offering a $10 million prize to anyone who can make one of Dr. McCoy’s nifty little medical tricorders. They’re looking for “a tool capable of capturing key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases. Metrics for health could include such elements as blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. Ultimately, this tool will collect large volumes of data from ongoing measurement of health states through a combination of wireless sensors, imaging technologies, and portable, non-invasive laboratory replacements.”

Learn more at The Tricorder Project and the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • http://moralmindfield.wordpress.com Brian Green

    Wow, a tricorder. This is really cool. I wonder how long until they are for sale? Because despite the generously-given schematics, dammit, I’m a philosopher, not a technologist. Though I wonder if I could make an ethics tricorder?… Just put all of St. Thomas’s writings into an artificial intelligence… aha!

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    I have my communicator (cell phone), and the tricorder is in the works: now where’s my phaser!

  • http://moralmindfield.wordpress.com Brian Green

    I wonder what says about the human race that they are being invented in that order? Communication/relationships, then science, then weapons… Though I suppose it depends on what you actually want your phaser to do, since stun guns have been around for a while. So the revised list: weapons first, communications second, science third. There, that sounds more like humans. :)


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