Fall 1999 Project
(ADSL) Advanced Digital Systems Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Type: Glove Controller
Control: PC Parallel Port
Output: VGA 3D display

Year: 1999

The purpose of this project is to make a "sensor" glove which will use potentiometers to measure the angle of each joint of a human hand. This information is then sent on to the computer and a 3-D image of the hand mimics the same motion as the human control is doing. The project was a total success...we were able to build the sensor glove which controls only the thumb and index finger thus far. The additional fingers will be added on in the future. The computer code (written in C and OpenGL) used to control the 3D rendered hand worked flawlessly. The only minor problem is the conversion equation of the potentionmeter output to the angle was not fully correct but it was fairly close. The circuit built consisted of one ADC0808 analog-to-digital converter (8 channel - only 8 joints in the finger and thumb together...entire hand would require more A/D's). The A/D converter is read by the parallel port of a computer and the opengl code then takes the information to draw the 3D hand appropriately.
In the near future we hope to build an animatronic version of the computer rendered hand...i.e. we will build a robotic version. There are many different types of hand being developed and our idea for the robotic version is very similar to some. We envision a system of strings connected to each joint and to servo motors at the other end. The servos will then pull each joint accordingly. Another possibility is to imbed the actual servo motor in the finger "link" itself...therefore there is no need for strings or wires. One site in particular that has movies of various hand designs is quite worthy to visit: www.sarcos.hom.

Click pictures on side

The controller was written using C and Parallel Port Programming coupled with OpenGL for the 3D output.