When you decide to relax and watch Netflix, the last thing that’s usually on your mind is working out. Or maybe it is, but likely in the sense that you should be doing something more productive. In order to make sure he exercises along with his entertainment, engineering student Ronan Byrne (aka “Roboro”) set up his exercise bike for Netflix control.
After inputting parameters for his ride into an onscreen dialog box, his computer program allows Netflix to play only if he rides fast enough. To send speed data to the computer, he reverse-engineered the signal going fed into the normal bike display, and set up an Arduino Nano to send this data there via a USB serial connection.
This project uses an Arduino connected to a stationary exercise bike to control Netflix. Starting the Python script and inputting some information, Firefox will start to stream Netflix and display in real-time for current workout information such as round, speed, nominal speed for this round and time to next round. If the user goes below the nominal speed for too long, Netflix will pause until the user has gotten back up to speed.
Code for this project can be found on GitHub. It’s a clever hack, or as YouTube commenter “Shanners Plays” puts it, “Roboro, eliminating obesity one Netflix binge at a time!”