Power Glove Takes Over Quadcopter Controls

Gerrit and I were scoping out the Intel booth at Bay Area Maker Faire and we ran into Nolan Moore who was showing of his work to mash together a Nintendo Power Glove with an AR Drone quadcopter. Not only did it work, but the booth had a netted cage which Nolan had all to himself to show off his work. Check the video clip below for that.

The control scheme is pretty sweet, hold your hand flat (palm toward the ground) to hover, make a fist and tilt it in any direction to affect pitch and roll, point a finger up or down to affect altitude, and point straight and twist your hand for yaw control. We were talking with Nolan about these controls it sounded sketchy, but the demo proves it’s quite responsive.

The guts of the Power Glove have been completely removed (that’s a fun project log to browse through too!) and two new boards designed and fabbed to replace them. He started off in Eagle but ended up switching to KiCAD before sending the designs out for fabrication. I really enjoy the footprints he made to use the stock buttons from the wrist portion of the glove.

A Teensy LC pulls everything together, reading from an IMU on the board installed over the back of the hand, as well as from the flex sensors to measure what your fingers are up to. It parses these gestures and passes appropriate commands to an ESP8266 module. The AR Drone 2.0 is WiFi controlled, letting the ESP8266 act as the controller.

4 thoughts on “Power Glove Takes Over Quadcopter Controls

  1. Nice, especially like the gesture control! I made something similar a couple months ago, but it wasn’t nearly as controllable:

    I used a single button for throttle, so to get to a certain height I had to “pump” the button just right.

    1. Thanks, Allen! I’m hoping to replace the old flex sensors in the glove with some modern ones in the near future to give me a more accurate set of controls to work with. I actually discovered your battle with Grant just the other day, very cool! I’d love to upgrade from the AR Drone to something a bit flashier… maybe Falcon’s movie sidekick Redwing?

    2. Thanks, Allen! I’m hoping to replace the old flex sensors in the glove with some modern ones in the near future to give me a more accurate set of controls to work with. I actually discovered your battle with Grant just the other day, very cool! I’d love to upgrade from the AR Drone to something a bit flashier… maybe Falcon’s movie sidekick Redwing?

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