Picture of Arduino Wireless Animatronic Hand
BTW!!!!! This instructable is awsomeeeeee

This is a very simple but at the same time a very hard project depending on your skill level. Lets get to building!

What this is, is a wireless animatronic hand that doesn't need a computer to operate. The user wears a control glove and can control the animatronic hand precisely. Bellow are some pictures of the final product:

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Step 1: Video

Step 2: Control Glove

Picture of Control Glove
Arduino w/ ATMEGA 328
Xbee w/ Shield
5 Flex sensors
Hook up wire
Custom PCB making tools
(5) 10k resistors

1. Power both of the Arduinos to make sure they operate correctly.
2. Assemble the Xbee radio shields.
3. Connect the Xbee shields to the Arduino by placing on top of the Arduino.
4. Connect the Xbee’s to the shields and connect them via USB.
5. Take the ATMEGA328 chip off the Arduino so there is a direct link between the computer and the Xbee radio.
6. Configure them in XCTU (default settings will work).
7. From here i built my own PCB (I'm not going to touch on how to do that, there are other very good tutorial out there)  I used the data sheet for the sensors from this site, this is also where i got these sensors:

8.From here i put all the boards together and tested it out to see if everything worked (powered on).
9. I sewed the flex sensors onto the glove by poking a hole at top and running the string over and under the sensor so it can still freely move.
10. i built the arm band with some elastically and some STRONG double sided tape.

Step 3: Custom PCB (Glove)

Picture of Custom PCB (Glove)

So for the glove i made a custom PCB to connect to the arduino. This PCB is for the 5 flex sensors for arduino inputs. This is my first PCB so it wasn't by any means complex nor professional. I made this in EAGLE CAD and used the Sharpie Method.

Step 4: The Hand!

Picture of The Hand!

electrical wire tubes (http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Animatronics-robotic-hand/)
fishing tackle
electrical tape
5 servos
xbee w/ shield
arduino ATMEGA 328
exact o knife

This took the longest to build...

1. I researched hands and found a diagram where the joints are.
2. I then cut the joints with the exacto knife
3. I put all the fingers together without the thumb.
4. i put the four fingers together and reinforced them with legos
5. i taped the securely and put the thumb over those so it would have human like flex.
6. i taped the servos together filling the spaces with Styrofoam
7. i added all 5 servos to the hand with legos and tape
8. I built the circuit on a breadboard with just delivering power the servos and having the control wires into the Digital input on the arduino
9. i ran fishing tackle from the finger tip through the tube and anchored it onto the servo

Step 5: Hand PCB Shield

Picture of Hand PCB Shield

For the hand i am still in the process in building a pcb to take away the wires and reduce space. This time i am using to toner transfer method. I again made the schematic and board layout in EAGLE CAD. i used magazine paper to print onto. I engineered this to be used as a shield on the arduino.

Step 6: CODE!!!

Picture of CODE!!!

The Very first thing you want to do is make sure your shield or xbee's are unplugged from the arduino. Or make sure the correct jumpers are the in the right place (in my case). I have written this code and if you do use it want credit.

This is the code for the sending Arduino:

int Finger1 = 0;
int Finger2 = 1;
int Finger3 = 2;
int Finger4 = 3;
int Finger5 = 4;

void setup()

void loop()
byte servoValue1;
byte servoValue2;
byte servoValue3;
byte servoValue4;
byte servoValue5;

int FingerV1 = analogRead(Finger1);
int FingerV2 = analogRead(Finger2);
int FingerV3 = analogRead(Finger3);
int FingerV4 = analogRead(Finger4);
int FingerV5 = analogRead(Finger5);

if (FingerV1 < 200) FingerV1 = 200;
else if (FingerV1 > 460) FingerV1 = 460;
if (FingerV2 < 200) FingerV2 = 200;
else if (FingerV2 > 460) FingerV2 = 460;
if (FingerV3 < 200) FingerV3 = 200;
else if (FingerV3 > 460) FingerV3 = 460;
if (FingerV4 < 200) FingerV4 = 200;
else if (FingerV4 > 460) FingerV4 = 460;
if (FingerV5 < 200) FingerV5 = 200;
else if (FingerV5 > 460) FingerV5 = 460;

byte servoVal1 = map(FingerV1,460, 200, 255, 0);
byte servoVal2 = map(FingerV2,460, 200, 255, 0);
byte servoVal3 = map(FingerV3,460, 200, 255, 0);
byte servoVal4 = map(FingerV4,460, 200, 255, 0);
byte servoVal5 = map(FingerV5,460, 200, 255, 0);



Here is the receiving:


Servo myservo1; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo myservo2;
Servo myservo3;
Servo myservo4;
Servo myservo5;

void setup()

myservo1.attach(2); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object

void loop()
if(Serial.available() >=5)
byte servoAng1 = Serial.read();
byte servoAng2 = Serial.read();
byte servoAng3 = Serial.read();
byte servoAng4 = Serial.read();
byte servoAng5 = Serial.read();

// Send the servo to the position read...  (note: you get to make this happen)

Step 7: How I Tested This

I did do this for science fair!

Here is some of my work for it:

So pretty much what i did was take a HD video at 60 fps to get high resolution skills.i came up with three positions to test, fully extended, half extended and unextended. From here i went into geometers sketchpad and found the angle of each finger at each position for both hands. From here i was able to compare a real hand to my animatronic hand.

Step 8: Results

Picture of Results

Upon conductions of the experiment, using the variables finger, angle, sensor value and position, the fallowing results were produced. During the first test I measured the angle relationship between my finger and the corresponding finger on the animatronic hand. I found that the index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and pinky all had about the same sensor value from the flex sensors. The thumb on the other hand was limited in movement compared to the other fingers, and therefore the sensor data was in a smaller range. I then came up with three positions to test, fully extended, half extended, and unextended. From here I created a video of all my fingers at these different positions. I then analyzed the videos through the use of editing software and found the angle of each finger at each position.
I then conducted the same procedure for the animatronic hand, finding the angle of each finger at each position in the process. I found that at the fully extended position the relationship between my finger and the corresponding finger on the animatronic hand was about a 20° difference. At half extended the relationship was the closest at about a 10° difference. At unextended I noticed the most difference with my fingers bending almost 30° more than the animatronic hand. The thumb was the most consistent finger with only about 10° difference on all three tests. Overall, the comparison of my hand compared to the animatronic hand was greater than I thought. The position with the greatest difference was fully flexed. What all this means is that the animatronic hand has a relationship with my hand.

Step 9: Awards!!

Picture of Awards!!

A few weeks ago i attended the regional science fair in Durango Colorado. The first award i won was 1st place in the Air Force Engineering. The second award i won was a Davin chi award which qualified me for the state competition in Fort Colins. The best award i won qualified me to go to the international science fair in LA for a week, all expense paid, to be an official observer. So i pretty much go to LA for a week and get to check out the sweet project whether i do good at state or not.

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MarisE121 hours ago
ABHISHEKS2217 days ago

Does this animatronic hand glove has any practical use ?

suhaslabade2 months ago

awesome project!!!!!!

cool project... can you make a glove that mimics sign language so non-ASL users can talk with hearing impaired people, one that is voice activated? you speak, it "spells"?

ZacharyM33 months ago

can you please send me a clearer picture of the bread board at zaccymax@gmail.com

ZacharyM33 months ago

on your hand pcb shield what is number 1 for the servos going to

Is it possible to make a full-scale human body with the same principle as your Instructable?
Theoretically, yes, but I think overall you'd have to find some super strong servo's, some super strong yet flexible piping and alot of time to do it. but overall NO, you'd have to create a biped platform for it to move as a human, costing thousands.

For strong servos you can look into using an H-Bridge to connect to a couple of DC motors and attach a Potentiometer to track its position by reading the Potentiometer and external power source. You can go as strong as you want.

HarshaT compwolf4 months ago

I think that the best thing to use for a robotic leg is Pneumatics or Hydraulics.

The biped platform wouldn't cost thousands. I have seen biped robots that were human sized and only cost around 500 usd.

Oh, thanks for the answer.
Check out a video on you tube.
Search for 3d Printed humanoid.
The man has done amazing work building a humanoid robot with fantastic working hands and arms. His 3d files are free to download. He is also using Arduinos.

Its called InMoov

I think a moving hand is a simple process compared to legs/feet and walking.

RitvikS8 months ago
hi! :) I made a model with help of this instructable and I won a competition......Thanks a lot NJKL44
SagarK3 RitvikS4 months ago

can u send me circuit diagram at sagar.nasac@gmail.com...

thank you

RitvikS RitvikS8 months ago

here is my prototype I made before

mrsunnygupta4 months ago
Please mail me the circuit diagram at sunny.thesis@gmail.com
sagarj14 months ago

Can someone please help me with the arduino code. I'm messing it up everytime :(

jithinraj5 months ago

wow! i just loved this instructable :) can you please mail me the design and the circuit diagram :)


thank u :)

mlvazq6 months ago

It's possible with arduino UNO? I can't read more two signal in the serial port, why?

turtledrake2 years ago
Love this project! It has inspired me to build my own with a different design--a nice challenge for me. I'd like to know, though, how much did you purchase the flex sensors for? I'm broke and looking for something that I don't have to spend a fortune on. Most of what I've found online has been around $13.

you can make your own. I have seen some people on here who have done so, but I am unsure of how well they work

T1ger61 year ago
this projet can help disabled man?that's great!

It actually can't. There are certain things a real hand has that this one is lacking.

nrucker1 year ago

So, In theory, if I were to rig this up in such a way to mimic my body, I could have a robot that would do exactly what I did?

Actually I am working on a project right now to do so. But you wouldn't want this hand, as its biology is very different from any humans, and it would be a piece of shit if you wanted to actually pick something up. I would recommend you use a 3d printed hand (such as the one from inmoov) if you wanted to do something like that, Also you would need a rotational sensor to detect certain movements (such as the forearm turn).

alexg166 months ago

hi :) could you email the coding and circuit diagram please djalex2134@gmail.com

very interested in this and want to make it !

i appreciate it if you can ! :)

jorgen1 7 months ago

Hi! .... Can you please give me a more detailed scheme for connecting the wires on the animatronic hand and on the glove on this email adress: jorgenkonini@gmail.com

i would appreciate it a lot !!

katke38 months ago

we also making this kind of hand.can you tell me is wrist movement and elbow movement are also possible.please answer

abhishek bv9 months ago

at first i'd like to congratulate you for ur efforts......

i'm interested in working on this module

so can u please send codes and circuit diagrams

itll be very helpful

mail it to abhishekpadmashali@gmail.com

thank you

neuman.frank10 months ago

Can u please explain the wiring and PCB properly or mail it on franknwamu@yahoo.com I will be greatful if you can

Can u please explain the wiring and PCB properly or mail it on tanishqjain340@yahoo.com

Can u please explain the wiring and PCB properly or mail it on tanishqjain340@yahoo.com


Please can you tell me a measurement soft for the bend sensors values.

Thank you!

ugoswami1 year ago

hey man... this looks cool i wanna build it too for my college project .

if u can give me the codes ands schematics i'll be highly obliged . my mail id utkarsh.1626@gmail.com . I'll be waiting for your reply . Thanks :)

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rjss31 year ago
Hey! Is there anyway you can take a clear picture of all the bread board wiring, and the printed pcb? I'm having trouble reading your schematic. Thanks!
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