Introduction: Arduino Wireless Animatronic Hand

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:

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 (
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 =;
byte servoAng2 =;
byte servoAng3 =;
byte servoAng4 =;
byte servoAng5 =;

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

Step 7: How I Tested This

Picture of 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.


RitvikS (author)2014-11-12

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

AbhishekS416 (author)RitvikS2017-08-10

Can u send me the code Pls?

RitvikS (author)RitvikS2014-11-12

here is my prototype I made before

hongwei1997 (author)RitvikS2017-08-08

hi bro, could u email to me the coding?

very interested in this and want to make it !

i appreciate it if you can ! :)

MoeenS (author)RitvikS2017-03-01

Bro, we are also making this project would you please help us out it would be a great favour...My Gmail account

SagarK3 (author)RitvikS2015-03-18

can u send me circuit diagram at

thank you

hongwei1997 (author)2017-06-11

hi :) could you email the coding and circuit diagram please

very interested in this and want to make it !

i appreciate it if you can ! :)

prajakta04 (author)2017-04-25

pls send me the flowchart for transmitter and receiver code for mechanical hand and control glove at

T0BY (author)2016-12-03

How unique!

SuvinV (author)2016-08-06

BTW my email address is

SuvinV (author)2016-08-06



asuski187 (author)2016-07-30

Hi i was just wondering what arduino you used for you project

thanks (:

Ganesh Hosur (author)2016-07-25

The Xbee is so exorbitantly priced...Is there any low price substitute for Xbee?

eng ahmed almassri (author)2016-07-20

code any one please send me the code and the pdf of this project to

asuski187 (author)2016-06-06

hi could you send the instructions to create the PCB pls it would help since i have never made one.

pls send to

KartikP4 (author)2016-04-05

Code is not working plzz code send my account

gsingh13 (author)2016-03-23

hey whats the length of the flex sensors? 2.2 inch ya 4.5 inch?

batsvhb (author)2016-03-09

hello could u please send me the PCB and interfacing details along with the will be very helpful for me... my email is

Gidz813 (author)2016-01-14

where will i get the whole thing??????

Gidz813 (author)2016-01-14

can we chat. This is my Mail ID:

aquibansari (author)2015-12-14

plzz send me the codes im using a arduino nano 128, the coding is not working for me so plzz send me.

AHMETO5 (author)2015-12-05

Hello....could u please send me the PCB and interfacing details along with the will be very helpful for me... my email is

ABHISHEKS22 (author)2015-07-11

Does this animatronic hand glove has any practical use ?

Yeah, Prosthetics, Space, Robotics... There are so many!

GiorgosG1 (author)2015-10-04

Hey this is amazing!

Can you please send me to pcb diagrams, my email is


cool_abhi6 (author)2015-09-24

Hello....could u please send me the PCB and interfacing details along with the will be very helpful for me.... I will appreciate your help
My mail is

Prabha Dsp (author)2015-09-04

Can you please tell me the detailed making of this project or kindly send the wiring and pcb connection to

MarisE1 (author)2015-07-28

suhaslabade (author)2015-05-08

awesome project!!!!!!

mark.diaz.58118 (author)2015-04-21

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"?

ZacharyM3 (author)2015-04-13

can you please send me a clearer picture of the bread board at

ZacharyM3 (author)2015-04-10

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

WhiteHatJake (author)2011-06-29

Is it possible to make a full-scale human body with the same principle as your Instructable?

mwolf2 (author)WhiteHatJake2011-06-29

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.

compwolf (author)mwolf22014-04-30

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 (author)compwolf2015-03-27

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

JediDude6205 (author)mwolf22015-01-18

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

WhiteHatJake (author)mwolf22011-06-29

Oh, thanks for the answer.

McDaver (author)WhiteHatJake2013-04-10

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.

JediDude6205 (author)McDaver2015-01-18

Its called InMoov

jamesbrosuk (author)WhiteHatJake2015-02-09

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

mrsunnygupta (author)2015-03-16

Please mail me the circuit diagram at

sagarj1 (author)2015-03-05

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

jithinraj (author)2015-02-11

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

thank u :)

mlvazq (author)2015-01-20

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

turtledrake (author)2013-01-21

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.

JediDude6205 (author)turtledrake2015-01-18

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

T1ger6 (author)2013-10-27

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

JediDude6205 (author)T1ger62015-01-18

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

nrucker (author)2014-01-30

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?

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