The gesture controlled car
GC Car with myoelectric armband
Every child has fantasized about being able to control movements of everyday objects using simple hand gestures. When I was little, one of my favorite superheroes was Professor X, because he had this exact ability. After seeing him in the X-Men TV show, I always used to wonder if it was possible to turn it into reality using technology.
What it does
It monitors the the gestures from the Myo armband and runs it through our algorithm to decide the car's movements. The android application monitors the hand gestures recognized by the Myo headband, and translates it into code.
How we built it
We used an Arduino connected to a motor controller to control the car. The Myo armband sends its data through Bluetooth to our Android application, and we run the data through our algorithm to decide the movement of the car. The application communicates to the Arduino using the Bluetooth module and the Arduino moves the car.
Challenges we ran into
This multifaceted project required the communication and collaboration of many different components which created several challenges. We spent a great amount deciding the most efficient way to communicate between the devices, and it got tricky because losing even one connection resulted in a failure. Once we could successfully transmit data between all the components of our project we also faced several control issues. On top of turning the car being tricky because of an incorrect wheel alignment, we also had to make our own batteries because the ones that came with the chassis broke. Calibrating the Myo armband was tedious, and sometimes it stopped working for some inexplicable reason. The only way we could find to fix this problem was to restart the car every time the calibration failed. Many circuits, as well as our spirits, broke numerous times. However, we were able to overcome whatever obstacles we faced and got our car to work.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Making the three devices communicate seamlessly with each other and connecting them together with a solid android application.
What we learned
We learned how to work with Arduino components, the myo armband, making make them communicate, building battery packs, creating an android app that communicates through Bluetooth to make the robocar move.
What's next for MC Car
We want to implement the Muse headband in order to measure the brain’s electrical activity and translate that into the car’s movements. We also want to improve responsiveness of the car to make it follow instructions better.