There are a few devices out there to motion control your drone (think the Ehang Ghost 2.0 headset for one). We might have just found the winner, though: a modified Nintendo Power Glove, fitted out to gesture control your drone.
Demoing the custom build at the Bay Area Maker Faire (as seen above), creator Nolan Moore put the controller to use with a Parrot AR Drone 2.0, pushing the quadcopter back and forth with a sweep of his hand. SPOILER: he didn’t use the original Power Glove electronics. Instead the controller was stripped and fitted with modern motion sensors, flex sensors in the fingers and Wi-Fi transmitters.
You can imagine an orchestral conductor using something similar to control a synchronized fleet of drones in the air; or for a similar device to be used to bring pilots up to speed from zero to flying in minutes. It’s not too far fetched to even imagine US troops using a descendant of the Power Glove to control micro-drones on the battlefields of the near future.
If you’re drawing a blank on the Power Glove, it was one of the more bizarre accessories for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Released in 1989, it was Nintendo’s first foray into motion control, 17 years before the Wii, and including virtual reality functionality 6 years before the (ill-fated) Virtual Boy. It could be used with two games and was not a success.
And if you’re wondering why people remember an abortive 1980s NES peripheral, the answer is that it featured prominently in the 1989 Nintendo promo/feature film The Wizard, in the hands of the villain:
And here’s a full demo of what actually using the Power Glove is like… (which is to say, frustrating)
You can find Moore’s extensive blog covering the build, including detailed pics, here. Time to get building?
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