Power Glove mouse

power glove

Feeling a bit nostalgic, Hack-A-Day reader Brandon has been hacking on a Nintendo Power Glove. The original Power Glove was sold by Mattel as a unique controller for the NES. It used ultrasonic sensors to determine orientation and could detect four different positions per finger. The finger’s resistance varies depending on how much it is bent, so Brandon used an LM339 comparator to determine the mouse clicks. For the actual mouse interface he used the guts of a Gyration mouse. He’s got a video of the beast in action plus links to an original Power Glove ad.

Comments

  1. Mooga says:

    This has to be one of the coolest hacks EVER!

  2. alan says:

    those power gloves were great looking but a big disappointment in performance. Interesting use of the motion sensing mouse

  3. seth says:

    My sr. design team actually built a mouse using an accelerometer and flex sensors (variable resistors). Unfortunately I no longer have any links to it online, but it won second place at the annual RIT design competition in 2005.

  4. Majortom1981 says:

    Um A gyro sensor is way better then an accelerometer. This is the same tech that the new rev controlelr will use.

    So they dont need one when a gyro is even better

  5. Scott says:

    Not bad, but I’ve been working on a similar project, and I found out a couple of things. For instance, it looks like it might be possible to get rid of the second circuit board that houses the “laser” for reading table-top movement. When you seperate the two boards, (they come apart quite easily thanks to several pins that fit into a nice plug) you can short two of the pins (i’ll look up which ones tonight and post again) and get a reaction from the top unit not unlike the one you see when the bottom board is in. Coincidence? Maybe. I still need to test it. But if it works, you could easily remove a good section of your project, AND cut down on battery drain.

  6. Scott says:

    Not bad, but I’ve been working on a similar project, and I found out a couple of things. For instance, it looks like it might be possible to get rid of the second circuit board that houses the “laser” for reading table-top movement. When you seperate the two boards, (they come apart quite easily thanks to several pins that fit into a nice plug) you can short two of the pins (i’ll look up which ones tonight and post again) and get a reaction from the top unit not unlike the one you see when the bottom board is in. Coincidence? Maybe. I still need to test it. But if it works, you could easily remove a good section of your project, AND cut down on battery drain.

  7. Scott says:

    sorry about the double post :(

  8. Brandon says:
  9. mark johnson says:

    in response to #4

    a single rate gyro is an accelerometer. very often is a piezo crystal, the stresses on it produce differences in voltage.

    a dual rate gyro, much less common is generally still an accelerometer but has electronics that can whip out some calculus to derive a drift plagued relative position.

  10. jeanphe says:

    omfg! it brings back the days where you could plug it on your pc and control virtual stuff in rend386.

    ahh at last a use for that glove thats been sitting on my screen. cool hack!

  11. D3adKl0wn says:

    lol, almost makes me want to hook up that P5 glove i bought a while back..

  12. expert01 says:

    Yeah, the P5 was pretty good. Too bad my machine can’t play any games :( That’s why I’m selling mine with a Belkin Nostromo Speedpad n52. You can find it here:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=8764297646

  13. mac cody says:

    Although this is a good hack, it is a shame that the functionality of the buttons along the forearm of the Power Glove is lost. Those buttons could come in handy as part of the glove’s control capabilities.

    This brings to memory the “Nintendo Powerglove kernel driver for Linux” that I found in the “semi-permeable archives of sean whalen” at http://www.node99.org/projects/vr/ . This driver works reasonably well with my Power Glove, though it exhibits some jerkiness. I’m thinking of using the Power Glove for my robotics/telepresence experiments and may construct an interface to it with a PIC chip (sort of like a “Menelli Box”). This way the driver load is taken away from the PC and some basic data conditioning could be done to remove the jerkiness.

  14. lowery says:

    Here’s a project in progress:

    http://lathan.org/Gallery/MyProjects/index.html

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