Remember the glory days of the Nintendo Power Glove? Sure, it was ahead of its time, but we all felt cool as hell wearing a hand mounted Nintendo controller.
Engineer Nolan Moore set out on his project with a trip to eBay to find a Power Glove to convert into a drone controller. Yeah, that’ll impress the kids. You need an iPad? Please, he can wave his hand around like it’s Minority Report.
Brother, you had me at Nintendo Power Glove.
Using an AR Drone 2.0, he makes use of the onboard WiFi for control. Hacking the power glove, the IMU is used to sense motion along with flex sensors in the fingers – pointing up for altitude, wrist turns for yaw, etc.
A Teensy LC board monitors the sensors which then sends gesture commands over WiFi.
Want to be the best parent ever? Nolan has a complete project blog showing how you can hack the glove for gesture controls. You will need a few parts and know more about electronics than mashing the home button on an iPad.
Power Glove Drone Controller Build
First, you’ll need a drone. The AR Drone 2.0 quadcopter retails for around $200 at Best Buy. Next, the Power Glove. Depending on what madness you find on eBay, prices range from $45 to over $100. North of a hundred will get you a vintage, never opened power glove.
Now comes the hacking components. The Teensy LC microcontroller board runs around $12. An ESP8266 WiFi Module shouldn’t cost more than $10 for the project. The Accelerometer, compass and altimeter used in Nolan’s project is the Pololu AltIMU-10 v4 priced at $18.
Moore’s hack prefers the flex sensors on the Power Glove be intact, so make sure you grab one that hasn’t been used as a football. Rounding out the build is a Pololu 5V voltage regulator and a 2000 mAh LiPo battery – Nolan mentions you can use a USB battery pack in its place. Both parts should cost around $20.
Total? $360 and plenty of free time. Nolan’s Hackday project gives a step-by-step log and plenty of pictures.
Now, for us mere mortals with 4K drones. My vote is the next series of drones out of DJI, 3DR and eventually GoPro have something like this. Sure, it won’t be a Power Glove control, but there are enough fitness wearables. Give us a wearable for drone photography.
Then again, we need battery life over the 30-minute mark and then worry about the extras.
For those of you wanting to go full Tom Cruise without the crazy, head over to Nolan’s Hackday page.
Image Credit: Nolan Moore