The Salt Shaker is an experiment kit for young students and hobbyists that allow you to take control of a biological limb quickly and simply.
The Experiment consists of three parts: The Device, The Recording Software and a free Player.
The Salt Shaker device is a calibrated camera that allows easy preparation and setup of a cockroach limb under a camera.
The Recording software allows you to target the cockroach limb joints in the live camera feed in order to detect the angle of the limb via image processing. Users can load mp3 music into the software where it is displayed as a waveform. Playing the music will cause the cockroach limb to be stimulated and the resulting movement captured as data by the application. This data is then displayed alongside the music wave file for students to compare and study. At this point correlation between music wave and resulting movement can easily be seen.
Student are able to upload their experimental data to a central database to allow anyone to see and compare their findings.
The application provides several tools to allow the student to scrub through the music to locate waveforms that control the cockroach leg reliably, these waveforms can be isolated, cleaned and saved to allow the student to control the leg via keyboard.
By emulating keyboard strokes, students can then easily develop their own experiment by adding additional hardware, e.g. remote control, EEG devices or computer program control. Our own example, featured on Discovery Channel, used an Epoc Neural headset to control the leg.
The third part of the Salk Shaker Kit is the player. The player is provided free of charge and can be downloaded on the Backyard Brains site. The purpose of the player is two fold,
- Anyone can use the player to view and play through published data from recorded experiments free of charge.
- In a classroom scenario , students can independently review their experimental data from a recorded experiment, they can then load their own music and search for candidate waves which can be loaded back into the recording application for further experimentation.
The Saltshaker is available through Backyard Brains a company dedicated to bringing neuroscience to Students and Hobbyists worldwide.