Create A DIY Polygraph Machine With Tin Foil And An Arduino

There's no foolproof way to prove that your sister actually stole your sunglasses, but polygraphs can sometimes do a pretty good job. Here's how to throw together a DIY polygraph machine with nothing but an Arduino, some wire and some tin foil.

While we think giving someone a lie detector test is a little over the top, it's a very cool project to test out the Arduino's strengths (not to mention scare your more deceitful friends). And, you don't need a ton of electronics experience to get it working — if you've checked out our guide to creating Arduino gadgets with other people's code, you're probably ahead of the game. It's actually a galvanic skin response device, not a real polygraph test — but it should do a good job of measuring their sweat levels through their fingers, which is one of the many things a real polygraph actually tests for. Hit the link to see how it's done, and if you're planning on building one, you might want to check out how to beat a polygraph test so your project doesn't backfire on you.

DIY Polygraph Machine: Detect Lies with Tin Foil, Wire and Arduino [Mad Science]


    How can something that is proven to not work "sometimes do a pretty good job"? Polygraphs are as reliable as astrology, and about as scientific. They are complete bunk and no one should be encouraged to believe that they are anything else. The two biggest Soviet spies in history, who operated inside the CIA and FBI for decades, underwent scores of polygraph tests conducted by agency 'experts' over many years and never raised a red flag. Not a single spy has ever been uncovered as a result of polygraph testing, yet the US security agencies keep using them, as a form of security theatre, to be seen to be "doing something".

    During the Watergate leak investigations Nixon famously said that he didn't care if polygraphs worked or not, threatening the people being investigated with being tested would make them think twice about leaking information in future. Take it from a politician who lied his way to the White House and into history, the only thing polygraphs are useful for is frightening the uninformed.

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