The Future of IOT. The smart phone has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives, but the device still has many limitations. Mobile phones can become easily damaged and/or contaminated, are easily misplaced, and cause dangerous distraction. With this in mind, we developed Snap, IOT connected gloves can perform all the features of a smart phone that are important for field work, while eliminating many of their problems.
In an industrial setting, control systems' reliability can quite literally be a factor of life and death for the workers who use the technology. In addition, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, there have been as many as 387 documented offshore chemical spills between 2007 and 2018 (https://www.bsee.gov/stats-facts/offshore-incident-statistics). These mistakes are costly to human life, and also to the environment; one of the best ways we can preserve our ecosystem is to improve workplace safety, tech reliability, and enforcing administrative access.
What it does
Users of Snap Gloves can use gesture-based inputs to send commands to a variety of IoT enabled applications, including the potential for text and general input schemes. Any gesture's final result depends on the exact configuration desired of the end-user.
Snap devices also have features enabled for safety and convenience in industrial settings. The gloves can interface with industrial warning systems to receive alerts. We have also made them capable of unlocking specific tools/machines based on permissions granted by a system administrator on the board itself.
How we built it
IMU's (Inertial Measurement Units) on each finger capture user input through variable accelerometer and gyroscope data, activating scripts housed in the onboard ESP 32. The ESP 32 then interfaces with a web server and connects with various APIs to allow the user to send the desired output, including text and email messages, and possible industrial commands.
Challenges we ran into
Using the I2C communication scheme was a challenge, since each individual sensor needs to be addressed individually in order to access its data. In the end, we came up with a solution using the AD0 pin as a sort of 'select' pin, changing the IMU sensor MPU6050's address to one bit higher than the other sensors. This can be used to always be reading and writing from a single address, say, 0x69, though that address is passed around to different sensors over time. In this way, we can take advantage of the two-line I2C protocol's strengths, using a select bit similar to SPI's arrangement.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
After it's all said and done, we have a functioning physical glove which sends requests over Wi-Fi when given certain physical inputs, proving the gesture-based input a valid connection scheme. This certainly opens a lot of doors in the realm of hands-free IoT input, a burgeoning field in industrial control.
What's next for Snap
Improving the API's that our prototype can actually interact with, and widening the amount of possible inputs the system can map to different possible outputs.