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What can you do with a methane sensor?

Well, they’re useful to detect leaks and potentially hazardous situations in an industrial setting.  Or, they can be used to detect more natural sources of methane and, if coupled with an Arduino, trigger an action to be taken.  Such as randomly changing the TV station.

Enter the prank Flatulence Associated Random TV Remote control (FARTR).  Schmidtn has posted an Instructible that incorporates a methane sensor, an Arduino, an infrared receiver and LED and other miscellaneous parts into a TV remote control that can be hidden in the couch and will change the channel whenever a person, as Tim Taylor put it, “loses a little pressure”.

The IR detector is used to read the codes from your existing remote, which are then coded into the FARTR.  You can probably guess the rest — you’ll have to go to the Instructible to find out how the sensor is calibrated.

This Instructible got me curious as to what other gassy projects might be on Instructibles.  Surprisingly, I only found one, although it’s also a top notch project — an office chair that Tweets(Twoots?) the status of your alimentary canal.  Whenever the sensor of this office chair is triggered it randomly selects one of about 10 pithy comments (”I wish I were some other chair”) and tweets it.  Believe it or not there are currently almost 3500 people following OfficeChair on twitter.

I was surprised at the low number of Instructible projects relating to gastro-intestinal distress.  Perhaps Instructibles should have a contest.

Steve Ravet

Design News Gadgeteer

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