DIY Glove Controller With E-Textile Sensors

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About: designer, leather ninja, tech explorer, ruiner of manicures

This Instructable is a step by step tutorial on how to make a data glove with eTextile sensors.

The project is a collaboration between Rachel Freire and Artyom Maxim. Rachel is the glove textile and eTextile sensor designer and Arty designs the circuits and software. In this Instructable Arty will be making the glove textile, following Rachel's instructions to test our tutorial.

There is a full list of materials with links in the next step and the .PDF pattern can be downloaded in the third step

The glove was designed with VR in mind, but can be used for any number of applications which sense the movement of the fingers. The range of the sensors is not huge, and because we are using textile sensors, their readings will vary for each glove made.

This is the simplest version of the glove using stretch resistive fabric as the sensors. They are connected using wires and the circuit is on a breadboard.

To see more wok-in-progress images, go to our Flickr album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelfreirestudio/...

Step 1: Materials and Tools

MATERIALS:


1. Fabric

- glove: Two-way stretch fabric such as lycra. I am using Eurojersey Sensitive Touch as it is a super fine micro knit, so very flat and good for layering with bonding materials --> http://www.sensitivefabrics.it 
- cuff: 2.5mm neoprene
2. Bonding material
Bemis Sewfree fusing (stretch bonding film) http://www.extremtextil.de/catalog/Sewfree-elasti...
3. Conductive Materials

- Sensors: Eeonyx resistive stretch material: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14112


- Conductive thread: I am using Elitex, though any good conductive thread will do. There is an amazing list here: http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=379

4. Electronics

-insulated silicone wire (30 gauge): https://www.daburn.com/2615-Ultra-Flexible-Silicone-Rubber-Wire-UL-3132.aspx I use this because it is super flexible, but any wire will work well, such as the ribbon cable in the pictures

-jewellery wire (for sewing loops)

-male pin headers connectors: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/116

-shrinktube

TOOLS: 


Sewing:

- sewing machine 

- dressmakers scissors 

- tiny sharp scissors 

- rotary cutter (optional)

- iron
- hand sewing needles 

- strong thread
- dressmakers pins

- fabric pen, gel pen or chalk

- fray check https://jaycotts.co.uk/products/fray-check#.Wi_lQ0tpHMU

Connectors:

- soldering iron

- round nose jewellery pliers (or needle nose pliers)

- helping hands

Step 2: Prepare Your Pattern and Materials

Step 3: Cutting Out

Step 4: Making the Sensors

Step 5: Applying the Sensors to the Glove

Step 6: Sewing

Step 7: Strain Relief

Step 8: Finished Textile!

Step 9: Making a Wire Harness

Step 10: Stitching Wires to the Sensors

Step 11: Measuring Sensor Resistance Range

Step 12: Assembling Breadboard Electronics

Step 13: Final Result

Step 14: What's Next?

2 People Made This Project!

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7 Discussions

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levi777l

Question 5 months ago

What would you charge to make a similar design and send it to me? =P

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rachelfreireNikolozB1

Answer 9 months ago

Very good point! The code we used for the initial design unfortunately had to all be re-done at the last minute, and our project time ended. This was a collaboration and we both went back to our respective corners of the globe. When Eeonyx manufactured the stretch resistive fabric it was very different than the samples we had used for development. Our initial project was structured as a step by step tutorial. We would have had to do quite a lot to update it accurately and unfortunately ran out of time. But the physical design still works great and each time you make a textile circuit you always need to recalculate the value of the pull up resistors. It can be hooked up to any microcontroller you are familiar with. So we figured putting up the practical documentation for the textile was still valuable.

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GabrielP173

Question 9 months ago on Step 9

First of all awesome project.
Secondly I am developing a glove similar to this one for a teleoperation project with an Arduino mega microprocessor.

I noticed that in step 12 you used a capacitor across the voltage divider could you tell me why you did so and how to determine what capacitor to choose?

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rachelfreireGabrielP173

Answer 9 months ago

it is to smooth the reading from the etextile stretch sensor which is pretty noisy. If you want more details you would need to ask my collaborator Artyom Maxim as he was in charge of the circuit design beyond the textiles and he also wrote the code:

https://www.instructables.com/member/artyommaxim/

I would like to see your glove project too. Will you post it on here? For other cool datagloves, check out KOBAKANTs DIY etextile dataglove overview:

http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=6730

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JeffH95

1 year ago

The next tutorial demonstrates how to use this glove to simulate touch-screen on an ordinary monitor, right? I can't wait :)

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ffratello

1 year ago

awesome! i Really like the Design. :)