Instructables

DIY Robotic Hand Controlled by a Glove and Arduino

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Picture of DIY Robotic Hand Controlled by a Glove and Arduino
This project idea came to me when I was sitting on a bed on a hotel room on vacation. I thought: "It'd be really neat to have a robotic hand that I can control with my own hand!" Upon returning home, I embarked upon a journey to design and create the project. I hope you enjoy!

The basic components of the hand and glove are the hand itself, the servos, the Arduino, the glove, and the flex sensors. The glove is mounted with flex sensors: variable resistors that change their value when bent. They're attached to one side of a voltage divider with resistors of a constant value on the other side. The Arduino reads the voltage change when the sensors are bent, and triggers the servos to move a proportional amount. The servos pull strings that act as tendons, allowing the fingers to move. Here's a video of it in action (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qMtHEOxHDGo): 

The hand itself comes from an open-source, 3D-printable download. It's part of a project called InMoov: http://inmoov.blogspot.com (http://www.inmoov.fr)

This guide will show you all the steps required to build your own robotic hand and control glove!
 
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Step 1: Gather the Materials

Picture of Gather the Materials
IMG_2746.jpg
In total, this project will cost about $100-150, depending on where you get some of the parts. Here's the parts list:

5x MG946R Servos (or equivalent - MG995 or MG996 should work too. I've had a bit of trouble with the range of motion, so servos that support more degrees of rotation would be better) - I got mine from hobbyking.com, but for a less expensive option I'd go with eBay (they come directly from China, so shipping may take longer).

5x 4.5 inch flex sensors - I got mine here: http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=3802
1x Arduino Uno or equivalent (they're also much cheaper on eBay)
5x 22k resistors
1x 6.0-7.2V battery (for the servos) - I used this: http://www.all-battery.com/Tenergy7.2V3000mAhRCCarNiMHBatteryPackwithCharger-91103.aspx

1x small breadboard
1x battery connector - something like this: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103292
Breadboard jumpers/hookup wire
1x small blank PCB - I used something like this, only square: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12516741

1x right hand glove (should be sturdy and fit well)
1x 8mm diameter 55mm long bolt
1x 8mm diameter 60mm long bolt
1x 8mm diameter 80mm long bolt
14x 3mm diameter about 20mm long screws
20x 4mm diameter screws (any length between 7mm and 30mm is fine)
Approx. 5 meters of string (should have a high-ish breaking strength) - I used this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YWKPCS/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hot glue
Super glue
Sandpaper (I used 431 grit) - a Dremel tool with a sanding head would also work
Needle and thread

A power drill
A soldering iron
Access to a 3D printer

...And you're ready to start!
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bigshf11 months ago
This is awesome! You really gave me motive enough to study the whole Arduino technology. Thanks a lot mate and .. Congratulations!
Raphango11 months ago
Pretty wow dude!
Congratulations!
myoung3510 days ago
Thats awesome
nurkob7216 days ago

Is there a program you have to download to get the servos to turn to the sensors?

Hi!

Great project, I'm almost finished but I'm stuck at the part with the servos. Isn't a 180° motion too much? It almost breaks my robothand..

tsmith1303 months ago

So I have almost finished the glove, one small issue that I have come across is that the middle finger's flex sensor doesn't seem to be working, I tried a sweep program on the servo and the servo worked but the sensor doesn't seem to working. Any idea's? I have also ceck the soldering, in the mean time I will be replacing the wires to see if it is that too.

Thanks if you can help, if not, none the less thanks!

mionut33 months ago

Hello D Schurman,

Could you please make a simple drawing of the wires connected to the servos , that schematic you promised?

Don't create it in various programs, make a pencil drawing and it'll do.

My version is near completion and I really need that schematic.

Thanks !

dschurman (author)  mionut33 months ago

Sorry, I meant the "Test the Servos" step.

mionut3 dschurman3 months ago

thank you !! Here's a picture with my progress so far :)

silicone hand, made it myself within a mold

IMG_20140606_193230.jpg
dschurman (author)  mionut33 months ago

Looks good!

dschurman (author)  mionut33 months ago

Sorry it's taken so long! The end of the school year has been very busy. Anyway, I've attached a drawing to the "Making the Sensor Circuit" step of the Instructable. Thanks for your patience.

cbouck3 months ago

could you post a picture of what you did on the breadboard for this project i am not good at wiring and i dont know what to do at that part.

dschurman (author)  cbouck3 months ago

I've attached a drawn schematic for it in Step 6.

Reese_Rules3 months ago

Would you mind if I use this as my science fair project. I think it is excellent work!

dschurman (author)  Reese_Rules3 months ago

Of course you can!

danielgalea3 months ago

Would you be able to take another picture of your PCB up close please?
Only one side is included up close, and i need the other to make sure it is all correct

Thank you.

jayotte4 months ago

this inspired me so much to create this with my own twist on it for my regional science fair next year. the only thing im troubled with is the availability to print the hand/forearm. i do not own a 3d printer, and online services cost a lot of money per part. could anyone help me with ideas of how to either print the hand or an alternative?

dschurman (author)  jayotte4 months ago

I know there are some walk-in places in which you can reserve time on a printer

sparten114 months ago

any code for the audrino? can this easily be modified to work on a PC with windows interface to have the input be seen as joystick inputs?

dschurman (author)  sparten114 months ago

It probably could, but I have no experience with that kind of thing.

Kayoken4 months ago
I'm going to try to get my hands on this I have quite a good idea
dschurman (author)  Kayoken4 months ago

What's your idea?

lspasov5 months ago
can i also use 2.2 flex sensors?
dschurman (author)  lspasov5 months ago

Probably, just find good positioning for them so they'll bend enough

Htoo Zarni Oo5 months ago

I cant download your pdf though i am a pro member. I really want to do Robotic hand project as my final year report.

dschurman (author)  Htoo Zarni Oo5 months ago

Pdf? I don't know how to fix that. I could send it to you if you message me an email address or something

Thank you very much ... My email address is htoozarnioo2011@gmail.com.

mionut35 months ago

Cound you be more specific about the connection from arduino to the servos, I can't find a scheme or something, all u've got is a picture where I can see a breadboard between arduino and servos.
Cound you attach more pictures of that part of the process or a scheme...thanks!

mionut3 mionut35 months ago

Question: Can I use 2 inch flex sensors instead of 4 inch which are more expensive?
What do you think? Maybe it'll get the job done aswell as 4 inch

dschurman (author)  mionut35 months ago

I'll attach a schematic as soon as I can make one. As for the 2 inch sensors, that might work, but you just have to find a place to put them on the glove so they'll be bent a good amount. Maybe put them so the front is right about inline with the bottom of each fingernail? Just a thought.

mionut3 dschurman5 months ago

Thanks, I'm waiting for the sensors to be shipped.. since I'm from Romania and ordered them from sparkfun.com I'll have to wait some time. Meanwhile I'veread about them and many ppl are having problems with them, it seems like they're unreliable, the pins are often the cause of problems, did you experienced this issue?

dschurman (author)  mionut35 months ago

One of mine did stop working, but that's probably because my cat chewed on it. Other than that, they seem to be okay, but they do seem fragile so it isn't surprising that some break

mionut3 dschurman5 months ago

There where many ppl who encountered problems with the fragile pins..I hope mine won't break because I'll have to wait another 3-4 weeks to get them.

P.S. still waiting for that schematic for liking servos to arduino :)

mionut3 mionut35 months ago

I ended up to buy the 4 inch ones btw :))

mionut3 mionut35 months ago

Also, couldn't find a cheaper 3d printer so I'm going to use a silicone hand :D wish me luck ,I'l post pictures as soon as I'm done with it :P

Bárbara93.5 months ago

Thank you!!

Bárbara93.5 months ago

¿Where can I find the robpart1.stl*?

¿Where do you attached the file?

dschurman (author)  Bárbara93.5 months ago

They're all attached at the bottom of step 2

Bárbara93.5 months ago

¿Where can I find the robpart1.stl*?

¿Where do you attached the file?

jayuso16 months ago
Hi, i just arrived here searching something interesting to do with my arduino. I was looking here the program for Arduino, because you said that is atached, but i can´t found it. Could you atached it again? Thanks from Spain.
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