Picture of How to Build a Robotic Hand with Haptic Feedback
For science fair this year, I felt like building something instead of doing an experiment. All I needed to do was look around Instructables for a project idea. I was inspired by njkl44's robotic hand since it reminds me so much of stuff out of science fiction movies. My goal was to create a system of haptic feedback from a robotic hand like that. The system provides a way for the person controlling the hand to "feel" what the robotic hand is feeling. I thought that this was an excellent project since it gave me something to do for science fair, and it provided me with a platform for constant development. In other words, I will not stop working on it. I will always try to come back to it, so I can make various improvements or redesign it every now and then.

njkl44's robotic hand:

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
2012-03-25 16.34.01.jpg
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Per Finger:
          A2-70 bolts- 3 with a beveled head and 4 with a regular head for each finger
          Nylon-insert lock nuts for the bolts
          4-40 x 1/2" machine screw and matching nut
          2-56 Threaded ball link (for connecting the finger to the servo)
          Jumbo paperclip (used for connecting the ball links)
          (x28) #4S washers

          Arduino Mega
          (x4) FSR
          (x4) 4.5" Flexible Resistor
          (x4) Mini Vibrating Motors
          (x10) PCB Screw Terminals
          (x4) 22k Resistors
          (x4) 10k Resistors
          24AWG wire in a twisted pair (the pairs make it easier to manage the wires)
          (x4) Hobby Servos 
          Misc. breadboarding equipment
          6V Power Source (I used a 4xAA battery holder)

          5mm Acrylic
          Duct Tape
          Heat-Shrink Tubing

          Laser Cutter
          Drill Press
          Hot Glue Gun
          Soldering Iron
          Safety Glasses
MarceloR116 days ago

hi how can I get the full description of the project, sounds very interesting and would like to make it. please let me know. thanks

macgyver603 (author)  MarceloR116 days ago

Thanks for your interest, but this is the full description of the project.

12203madman2 years ago
How much does it cost to make
macgyver603 (author)  12203madman2 years ago
The total cost was somewhere in the ballpark of $150-$200. If you have any of the materials already, the cost may be a bit lower, and it also largely depends on where you can find the parts. I was able to find pretty much all of the electronics I needed on sparkfun.
blhack3 years ago
Dude! I remember seeing you in the lab with this! Glad to see it came together really well :)
Tomdf3 years ago
Super nice, gj! After reading this I am definitely going to try to make fingers like these
pantalone3 years ago
Very cool project! How did you do in the science fair?
macgyver603 (author)  pantalone3 years ago
The award ceremony for state science fair was yesterday, and I was one of the second place winners in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering category.
macgyver603 (author)  pantalone3 years ago
Thanks! I was able to place first in Engineering for the school science fair, and my interview for state science fair is on Tuesday.
Good luck! Very cool system! do the pager motors vary in power based on the pressure of touch?
macgyver603 (author)  pie R []ed3 years ago
The Arduino takes pressure samples once every minute, and based on those measurements, the motors are on for a portion of each second. At full pressure, the motors should be on all of the time (1 full second during the 1 second measuring interval), and at half pressure, they should be on for 1/2 of the time (1/2 of a second during each 1 second measuring interval).
javapda3 years ago
Had a chance to meet macgyver603 at 2012 AZ SEF in Phoenix, AZ. He is a really bright guy. He let us know about something called HackerSpaces (Mesa, AZ).

Great work macgyver603!
Pizzapie5003 years ago
Hey do you have a video of this? I'm thinking of making one myself. How much did it cost you, and where did you buy the materials?
macgyver603 (author)  Pizzapie5003 years ago
I do not have a video of this. I was able to buy most of the electronic at Jameco, and the hand cost about $240 total. Let me know how it goes, and good luck!
Cool! I won't be able to make this project for a while because I'm going to make the segway skateboard first (and it costs around $350).
walshlg3 years ago
Wonderful project but I need some help understanding - how do you hook up the vibration motors to your glove? Is that the haptic feedback?

So the "circuit" as I understand it is - user bends finger in glove, that changes the finger resistor that controls the position of the robot hands' finger angle. when robot fingertip starts applying pressure the variable resistance is used to drive glove Vibrating motors?
macgyver603 (author)  walshlg3 years ago
Yes, that is how the hand works. The motors are the haptic feedback part of the project, and they are just sewn on.
Dakinex3 years ago
can you upload a video? is very cool
macgyver603 (author)  Dakinex3 years ago
There are still a couple of fixes I need to take care of, but once those are done, I will see what I can do.
TheHawkeye3 years ago
You should have entered this in the Science Olympiad's Robotic Arm Competition! The Olympiad happens in every state, and if your school does well enough, you'll compete against other states too! http://soinc.org/