Open-Source Vibe – Arduino Controlled Vibrator Project

I’ve been playing around with Arduinos for about a year now, and I don’t think it took me very long working with it to dream up many crazy ideas of what I could do with the thing.  One of the craziest for sure has to be an Arduino controlled Vibrator.   Now, someone close to me used to have one of these: A Beyond 2000 Plus, a device which the manufacturer claims is “The Ultimate Vibrator” and “The Very Best Vibrator Ever Made”.  I say someone close to me used to have one, that is, before I started hacking at it…    Now, I’m not up on the latest vibrator technology, but it was a pretty expensive advanced device when it was purchased. As you can see, it is a Rabbit style vibrator with features consisting of a shaft containing rotating beads and a oscillating head, as well as a “panther?” with two separate paws which vibrate.5 Buttons Its control panel has 5 buttons for input, and two 8 LED strips for displaying level information.   The 4 up and down buttons control the intensity of rotation and vibration respectively, while the 5th button cycles through modes of operation.  I don’t remember how many modes there were, because i dissembled it before I wrote this article, but it had a steady rotation/vibration mode where levels of both could be controlled by the up and down buttons.  When you pushed the mode button it would begin changing directions of the rotation and vibration, creating a pulsing action at probably 2 Hz.   I think hitting the mode button would increase frequency of pulsing, but I don’t recall to what levels.  The LED displays would indicate the speed of rotation on the left panel, and the intensity of vibration on the right.  When the vibe was in “pulsing” mode, the LEDs would display a cycling light that would travel up and down the panels.  Pushing the down buttons until no LEDs were lit was apparently OFF, but I assumed some drain on the batteries would exist nevertheless.  It apparently was doing something, as it would sometimes turn on randomly.  When not in use, the batteries were removed.

The bottom line of all this information is this:  For a product that was very expensive, it didn’t work very well.  It malfunctioned constantly!  It would cut out at inopportune times, turn on at even more inopportune times (ie: inlaws are visiting), and don’t even think about using it in a colder than average environment.   I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to return a sex toy; for some reason retailers frown upon it…  Suffice to say, a replacement didn’t fare too much better either.  I’m not sure there is anything sadder than what would be an excellent grown up toy that remains unused in a bedside drawer…

So, when something isn’t working right, and you can’t get it fixed or get a refund, then there is absolutely no loss in opening it up to check out what gets its motors running.  It is my hope to delve into the innards of this device, reverse engineer as much as I can, and determine if I can emulate it’s functioning with my own hardware running Arduino code…  I’ll post my work on this blog and I guess we’ll see how it goes!

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2 Responses to Open-Source Vibe – Arduino Controlled Vibrator Project

  1. techno says:

    Take a look at: http://kinklab.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/vibrator-controller/. That might help you with your project.

  2. Craziest Ozzy says:

    informative post and thanks for sharing…you probably have an idea at how hard it is to find details of the innards and hack ideas for vibrators. Seems to be a taboo subject 😛
    Keep “up” the good work 😉
    I have one of those Rabbit vies enroute in the mail and looking forward to tinkering with it…or hoping it fails so the missus will allow me to tinker with it 🙂

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