If you’ve played Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, you’ll know it’s a device that you would not travel across the wasteland without. Worn on the left arm, the Pip-Boy 3000 warns you about high radiation levels, handles your inventory, your maps and communications. Its display can even double as a flashlight when you’re exploring dark areas like caves or abandoned bunkers. Wouldn’t something like that be useful in the real world, at least for exploring potentially hostile alien worlds? A group of hackers think so and have built a working real-life Pip-Boy 3000 for NASA’s International Space Apps challenge.
This real version of Pip-Boy 3000 uses an iOS app that pulls up data such as maps (let’s hope they’re not Apple maps), latitudes and longitude, temperatures, and weather conditions. And just like its video game namesake, it also can tell you if radiation levels are dangerous or not. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include an inventory handler that can let you take some Rad-X if your radiation poisoning gets too high. (This is still a prototype, and, well, we still need to invent something like Rad-X.) However, this device can tell you if an environment is safe enough for you to take your helmet off, which is definitely useful.
Like a 1:1 replica, the Pip-Boy 3000 is worn on the wrist and is made from simple components, including an iPhone 5, an inexpensive microcontroller and a basic sensor tag. The hacker team created their own geiger counter for radiation detection. The wristband itself, along with the Pip-Boy’s frame, was 3D printed. The idea was to create something that is comfortable to wear and easy to produce.
The team hopes to eventually add more functionality to their device, including more health monitoring, as well as adding some communication abilities. If we’re going to explore the wastelands of alien planets, this is just the sort of thing we’ll need to survive.
Via Singularity Hub