The Leap Motion Makes Robots Bend To Your Will

We just wrapped up the Human Computer Interface challenge in this year’s Hackaday Prize, and this project is pushing boundaries we’ve hardly seen before. [Giovanni Leal] is using a Leap Motion controller to move a robotic arm around in space.

The robot arm in question comes from Owi, and it is by every measure not a good robot arm. It is, however, an excellent toy filled with motors and plastic linkages that serves as a good stand-in for a proper robotic arm.

Control of this toy robot arm is done through a Leap Motion controller. While the Leap Motion is a few years old at this point, it is a very effective way to ‘measure’ the position and rotation of a hand in 3D space. The only thing that’s required is the Leap Motion controller itself and a tabletop.

The end result is a robot that can be controlled by a hand. While this robot arm is really just a toy, it was fun to assemble and a little bit of hardware hacking with an Arduino turned this into a working robot arm controlled by a human. Scale this up, establish an island lair, and you’re on your way to taking over the world.

4 thoughts on “The Leap Motion Makes Robots Bend To Your Will

  1. That robot arm might not be great, but it’s an amazing value. It’s stronger than most $100 arms and only costs $20. Often you can find them on sale for $18! It can easily pick up objects like new deodorant sticks, has over-torque protection on the joints and has quite a large range of motion. I purchased 30 for my kid’s programming club three years ago and they still have 25!

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