We tried to create a different system that could replace or complete currently used input technologies. Thinking of using our hands to use applications and games propelled us into creating new instrument, that can be used as conventional input device, and more.
What it does
We managed to create a Glove, that has several input options - it can either emulate a device like keyboard or a joystick to use the computer normally, or it can connect to an application directly through USB port, feeding it very low latency hand position. We made a simple demo game to showcase such possibility.
How we built it
We used Arduino (Elegoo) Mega for a base of our glove. It allows us to recieve data from gyroscope module and to recieve finger presses from hacky cable-tinfoil connection on each finger. The microcontroller is connected to a PC, which runs any app necessary. We also needed to learn sewing skills for stylish finish of the glove.
Challenges we ran into
It was a first bigger project for all of us on Arduino - we weren't very experienced. We had a plethora of small roadblocks, but they were easilly overcomed. The biggest problem seems to be poor implementation of SerialPort in C# and writing emulators for different device - that was a project of it's own. The hardware wasn't a big problem, but the data we recieved from a gyroscope was very messy and each use needed different algorithms for using the output. We also had to substitute soldering with burrito tinfoil - as it was the only flexible conductor.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We are happy we made a full product. It works as we expected it to. We can use it as a mouse, controller, or even directly move characted in dedicated app. We are glad we worked together and made an epic looking piece of accesory. Also, the fact that we made everything from scratch (both hardware and software had to be done) makes it an ever more thrilling experience.
What we learned
We definetely learned to correctly make communication between two devices work. Arduino was one of the most interesting pieces of technology I have seen lately - it allows for a quick prototyping and has abudance of helpful resources. We also worked a lot on compatibility with 3rd party apps - which required us to see how information can be taken from most unsuspected places.
What's next for Gamer's right hand
Even though it's a great success, it needs major rebuilding with different parts. Currently it could work best for VR technology - which would require position awareness, while we only have rotation. It would be very easy, however, to minimalize the size of the electronics, add wireless module and have a day-to-day Smart-Companion, when connected to a mobile phone or a laptop.