Want to control a drone with the flick of your wrist? It may sound like magic, but Nolan Moore has figured out a way to at least make it look like you’re really using the force to control a drone. The secret? Moore has outfitted the notoriously terrible 1989 Nintendo Power Glove with sensors that transmit directly to an AR drone’s on-board computer, allowing him to direct its flight by waving his hand.
Moore premiered the Power Glove Unit at the Bay Area Maker Faire, where he set up a cage to demonstrate the technology. He attracted a good-sized crowd, including dozens of kids, incredulous at the apparently mystical technology.
All he has to do is hold his hand flat for the drone to hover. He makes a fist and tilts his hand to control pitch. And simply pointing up or down will send the drone following his command. He can even dictate yaw by sticking one finger out and twisting his hand.
You may be skeptical that such an arrangement can work reliably, but the demo video shows a close connection between the Power Glove and drone. Even if that weren’t impressive enough, Moore’s construction basically involved scrapping the two internal boards of the Power Glove and custom designing new ones. A few more tricks and suddenly, he has returned the Nintendo Power Glove from obscurity to the center of the scene.
Throughout the demo, Moore gives the impression of a master wielding a powerful new force he is having trouble controlling. Of course, the reality is that the prototype is still in its early stages, but still everything about this project inspires the imagination. Everyone wants to master the force, and Moore is giving us the opportunity to make it really look like we finally can.