September 24, 2014

Convert an exercise bike into a virtual outdoor ride with Arduino and Google Maps

Using an exercise bike can become somewhat boring, and doesn't replicate the fun of riding outdoors. However they do have a purpose, and using them can be made a lot more interesting with an Internet-connected PC and an Arduino Leonardo or compatible board.

Hackster member jadkins has used this combination along with a reed switch and magnet to detect revolutions of the bike wheel, which are fed to the Arduino which in turn sends a USB keyboard command to the PC running Google Maps in stree view mode. With this combination, the street view display can be advanced as the rider uses the bike - giving the illusion of riding outside or somwhere in a different area. A quick demonstration is shown in the following video:

Apart from making exercise more enjoyable, it's a great way to virtually travel around areas you've never been to or need to remember for the future. For instructions on how to do this yourself, visit the Hackster website. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.

Need a small Arduino-compatible for use with your own USB HID emulation projects? Then check out out our LeoStick. It's the Arduino Leonardo-compatible board that's cheaper and smaller than the original:

 Apart from being one of the smallest Arduino-compatibles on the market with USB, it also has an onboard RGB LED and piezo which can be used a knock sensor and various tune and sound effects. Plus you can add extra circuitry with the matching protostick! For more information and to order, click here.

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