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HE CREATES MINI MACHINES FOR FUN

He was an eye surgeon who planned and did intricate operations and assembling these mini computers allows Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to keep his dexterity and exercise his brain.

He usually takes a few weeks to study how the programming works before he actually puts them together.

He said: "It's not that difficult...You can (learn how to assemble them) with a weekend course. If I had more time, I would conduct courses like that."

SOME OF HIS GADGETS:

Raspberry pi ($40)

  • Credit-card sized computer that can be plugged into a TV and a keyboard
  • He included a wireless module to communicate with wireless sensors in a room
  • Open source software is used and it can perform tasks such as switching on the air-conditioner, locking the door, checking the temperature

Arduino ($20)

  • Small mini-controllers with ports. It can be programmed so that it can be used as a sensor or to control things
  • It can be used for complicated projects such as operating a drone or to perform simple tasks, like measuring the temperature in a room

His own project modelled after the Arduino ($5-$6)

  • Starting with a board that cost about $4, he added some wires and connectors. It would work nearly the same way as the Arduino
  • Includes an ultrasonic distance sensor that can detect obstacles