When scooter companies like Bird started illegally deploying their gadgets in city streets, there was intense interest in both the street value of the components to be found within each of these VC-backed ewaste-in-waiting devices, and tactics for hotwiring them.
Now, with hundreds of these scooters abandoned and rotting in impound lots, likely never to be recovered, maybe now is a good time to invest in a $30 scooter “conversion kit”, which ships direct from China, and plugs-and-plays to convert one of these scooters to a “personal scooter,” with all recovery and payment components permanently disabled.
The subject of this conversion are scooters deployed by Bird, which are in actuality Xiaomi MIJIA M365 scooters with a few added electronics to connect to the Internet. The ‘conversion kit’ for a Bird scooter comes directly from China, costs $30, and is apparently a plug-and-play sort of deal. The hardest part is finding a screwdriver with the right security bits, but that again is a problem eBay is more than willing to solve.
Right now, [humanbeing21] is in contact with a towing company that has well over a hundred Bird scooters on their lot, each accruing daily storage fees. Since these scooters only cost about $400 new, we’re probably well past the time when it makes sense for Bird to pay to get them out of storage. This means they’ll probably be heading for an auction where anyone can pick them up — all of them — for a hundred bucks or so.
Right now, scooter hacking is becoming one of the most interesting adventures in modern-day hacking. You’ve got batteries and electronics and motors just sitting there, ready for the taking (and yes, through these auctions you can do this legally). We’re looking at a future filled with 18650-based Powerwalls from discarded electric scooters and quadcopters built around scooter motors filling the skies. This is cyberpunk, and we can’t wait to see the other builds these scooters will become.
Liberating Birds For A Cheap Electric Scooter [Brian Benchoff/Hackaday]
Convert a Bird to a Personal Scooter [Scooter Talk]
Combine a paperclip, tin foil, a cereal box, and a print out to make the Die Hard John McClane Air Duct Christmas Ornament. PS: Die Hard is a Christmas movie. (via Kottke)
Joel Bonasera liked my novel Walkaway so much that he made a 3D-printable bookmark based on Will Stahle’s amazing cover art!
Raspberry Pi is a line of inexpensive ($5 – $35) single board Linux computers. The latest model is the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, which costs $25 and is quite a bit smaller than the 3 Model B+. This episode of ExplainingComputers takes a look at this new edition to family.
At the rate the world is shrinking, you don’t need to be a globetrotter for a second language to be a useful skill. And if you’re looking to learn that second language (or a third, or fourth), uTalk Language Education is the learning program that makes progression not only easy but fun. If you can’t […]
Smokers on the go can breathe a little easier. With an innovative, easy-loading spiral design, the Twisty Glass Blunt offered a smoother, more consistent draw than conventional pipes. Now the Twisty Glass Mini delivers the benefits of its heavy-duty sister pipe in a more discreet package. For those that haven’t already made the Twisty Glass […]
Sometimes, smaller is better – especially when it comes to technology. Doubly so when it comes to gear that will fit into that Christmas stocking. From high-powered flashlights to high-performance earbuds, we’ve got three deals on tech that anybody can use – and afford. Universal Waterproof Solar Charger This handy unit is perfect for the […]