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Hacking a Powerglove

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First of all lets get this out of the way... It's so bad 

This is going to be showing how to hack the Nintendo Powerglove. By hack I mean tap into the flex sensors and use the buttons and d pad and add anything you want. In my case I added an accelerometer.  

I got mine from Ebay for around $40. These gloves have 4 flex sensors similar to these: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8606
Now these are $12 a piece, it's way cheaper to buy a Powerglove for 4 sensors and get a bunch of other awesome things then buy 4 of these.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Materials:
Screwdriver
Wire
microcontroller (i used Arduino)
USB cable
4 - 10k resistors 

Optional:
ABS sheets
Nuts and bolts
Accelerometer or whatever sensor 
Xbee with shield
9v Battery

I also have an Ardumoto shield with a vibrating motor for a feedback system

Step 2: Take it apart

This is kind of tricky if you don't know where the screws are. Don't loose them either! 

Just fallow the pictures:

Step 3: Flex Sensors

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Now its time to tap into the flex sensors. Flex sensors are variable resistors which mean the more you flex the more the resistance. You can then read that and map that value to anything you want. There are two wires coming from each sensors so we have 8 wires.

This website shows a good wiring diagram and explanation for it all: http://www.makingthings.com/teleo/teleo/cookbook/bendsensor.htm

We want to open up the palm to expose the board. Once we have that find where the sensors attach to the board. There will be 4 diodes by there. We are going to desolder the diodes and replace those with the 10k resistors. We will be attaching the positive to one of the two wires of each sensor. We well then attach ground to the resistors and attach wires from the second sensor wire. Pictures will help explain this a lot better.
ahudak11 year ago
Im doing the same project for my robotics class basically. Out of curiosity, why does the code not include the pinky finger or is it replaced with the "Rotation" int?
I foresee arduino controlled avatar robots in your future! Ha Ha, nice instructable!
you need a lot of reading and practicing....try to get the get starting with arduino book.....and also be in touche with the mama page http://www.arduino.cc/

after that Internet has a huge collection of projects and also we are always here!...
Start by doing small thing....make a led flash.....You need to learn also C or C++
Yeah, that was a great book, I also recommend checking out these sites and blogs.  I'm currently reading "getting started with the internet of things."  I'm learning a ton about communicating with the internet which has been a great help on one of my current arduino projects.  I gotta be honest I'm not the best coder, but arduino has helped.
agis682 years ago
it's beautiful but what it does really?
njkl44 (author)  agis682 years ago
Well its really up to you! i use it to control a 3d printed robotic hand that i made, when i move my hand the hand mimics my movements.
That's cool! You should post that to this instructable. I'm sure we'd all like to see it in action.
agis68 njkl442 years ago
cool.....then bravo
Its Awesome dude.Plz help me to start with Aurdino.
njkl44 (author)  Pratik Shinde2 years ago
Thank you! Ask away with any questions you have
MissMegumi2 years ago
NOW you're playing with Power! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) ^_^
oodinaka2 years ago
It's lovely and more improving but what is gallantry? what will be the positive force of it.
I have only ever seen a Powerglove in that movie! So awesome!
The Wizard?
Yes!!!
jhefren2 years ago
Hello everyone
This glove turns out to be obsolete it is better to replace it by an ipod, galaxy s or sony xperia. its much better
Hehe.. the glove was obsoleted decades ago - that's one thing that makes it so cool! As for the other devices you mentioned, no doubt the accelerometers make it easy for overall hand position/movement but how would you sense finger positions? I think it's the hand-gesture/finger posture sensing (as well as outright retro-street-cred) that makes this stand out.
njkl44 (author)  agittins2 years ago
with the glove you can get finger positions. It has 4 flex sensors that act as potentiometers so you can turn that into an angle or whatever you want and from there you can control really anything. The glove is awesome though! seeing all those ancient one sided boards is the best haha.
MauiJerry2 years ago
Cool to see the power glove again! I got two around here somewhere. Back in 1993 or so several of us on the proto-nets hacked it to work with a primitive 3d rendering application called REND386.

We also hacked it so two gloves could work on same system and shake hands. Then we merged it with a modem app and virtually shook hands across the country.

Accessing the controller on the wrist would also be fun.
waterlubber2 years ago
AWESOME!!! HOPE YOU WIN ARDUINO CHALLENGE!!!
njkl44 (author)  waterlubber2 years ago
Thank you! i hope i do too :) keep voting and pass it along
hackalack2 years ago
This hack is.......so bad.
Haha, sorry I had to. But really this is awesome.
What did you end up controlling with these mapped values?
njkl44 (author)  hackalack2 years ago
Right now im using it to control a 3d printed robotic hand that i made. I might be making an intructables for that soon
Totally cool. Right now I got a hold of some arduino code that decodes the signal from a wii nunchuck and I'm in the process of using that to control some DC motors on a robot, plus a few servos. Fun stuff.
PinkEle2 years ago
Cool glove man.
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