Introduction: Simple Gesture Control - Control Your RC Toys With the Movement of Your Arm

About: I studied Electrical Engineering and a lot of other things. I'm always driven by my passions. Please visit also my Youtube channel.

Welcome to my 'ible' #45.
A while ago ago I made a fully working RC version of BB8 using Lego Star Wars parts...

When I saw how cool it was the Force Band made by Sphero, I thought:

"Ok, I can easily make a cheaper version of it."

without losing the functionality of the original transmitter.

This hack is cool, because it can be done even if you want to add a simple gesture control to any of your remote control toys. In fact, it has been mentioned even on #Hackaday. ;-)


RC Stunt Car (40Mhz)

4x Tilt sensors SW520D (Europe) (Worldwide)

1x 2S 7.4V Lipo battery - Transmitter

50mm Heat shrink band (use it to make the wristband)

3mm foam board (to build thenew case of the transmitter)

1x Velcro strap (to secure the wristband)

Glue (Uhu Por)

Soldering on Iron (use it carefully)

Step 1: Soldering the Tilt Sensors to the Pcb of the Transmitter

This task is the most tedious as you have to solder the legs of sensors to the pins of the pushbuttons of the transmitter.

Disassemble the transmitter removing the pcb from the case.

Flip it upside down and you should be able to see the 4 pins of the 4 pushbuttons (Forward/Backward - Left/Right).

Using the solder on iron connect the tilt sensors, overlapping them to save some space.

Please remember you have to bend the legs of the sensors 90 degrees. In this way the sensors will stay nearly parallel to the pcb and its activation is going to be easier making a small movement of your arm.

You have to be sure that the sensors are attached to the pcb firmly, because you'll have to make some minor adjustaments to be sure that when your arm is flat, there is no activation of the pushbuttons.

Step 2: Building the Wristband and the Case for the Transmitter

Cut a strip long 20cm and 3cm wide.

Attach/glue to the edges the Velcro strap, having in one side the "hook" and in the other one the "loop".

Cut 2 small rectangles of foam board that are going to be used to support the pcb of the transmitter, protecting the sensors.

Remember that you also have to fit the battery, without interfering with/squashing the sensors, therefore be sure that the rectangles have the proper height.

Glue the rectangles to the base of the pcb.

Cut another small rectangle of foam board and place it in the middle of the pcb (increasing the support for the pcb).

Following the edges of the pcb, cut another piece of foam board that you are going to use as a base for this scratch built case.

Now, glue the small box you just assembled to the wristband.

For the top of the transmitter, using the heatshrink band, cut another piece following the edges of the pcb.

Cut 4 small squares to have access to the pushbuttons of the transmitter.

Using again the foam board, cut 4 small squares that match the ones you have previously cut in the heatshrink.

Put a bit of glue to the edges of the heatshrink and attach it to the top of the pcb.

Put a drop of glue on the small squares and attach them to the buttons of the transmitter.

Step 3: Test It!

Check that the tilt sensors are activating the functions of the transmitter and check also that the pushbuttons work properly.

Step 4: Gesture Control for Other RC Toys

As I mention in the introduction this project is cool, because as long as you use the same transmitter and receiver (I removed one from the RC Stunt Cars I bought to build BB-8 motor unit), you can control other RC toys.

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