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Wireless embedded system on a glove for hand motion capture and tactile feedback in 3D environments

Effraimidis Michail

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Year 2019
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Michail Effraimidis, "Wireless embedded system on a glove for hand motion capture and tactile feedback in 3D environments", Diploma Work, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2019
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In the last couple decades the rise of haptic technologies has brought new possibilities in the area of remote interaction with virtual objects. Haptic technologies are dominant in mobile technologies including phones, game controllers and telecommunications. Virtual reality technologies are becoming progressively cheaper allowing emergent haptic technologies novel ideas to act as a bridge between human machine interactions. However, wearable haptics compatible with virtual reality applications are currently achieved using wired systems which heavily restrict user movement.This thesis tackles this issue by creating a wireless embedded system on a glove with hand motion capture providing tactile feedback in a 3D environment. For this purpose, the embedded implementation has multiple components attached to it. First, a Raspberry Pi was attached to the glove to control multiple modules and communicate with the computer via Wi-Fi. Then, five flex sensors were attached on top of each finger of the glove to detect the rotation of the fingers. Furthermore, a base located on top of the hand had a 3D printed triangular base attached holding three infrared LEDs. A USB camera with an infrared pass filter were used to detect the position of the infrared LEDs providing a 3D space hand tracking capability. A gyroscope-accelerometer was also placed near the printed base to detect the pitch and roll rotations of the hand. A vibration motor was attached on the back of each finger to provide a tactile sensation for a total of five points of haptic stimulation.Data gathered from all those components was then used to create a digital representation of the user’s hand rendered in a Unity 3D demo application which moves according to the user’s hand movements. This digital representation can interact with other digital objects present in this application’s level which upon collision provide tactile feedback in the form of vibration via the vibration motors. This implementation successfully tested scalable and independent vibration intensity on all five motors using pulse width modulation and dual motor drivers. It also provided an adequate hand tracking system by using infrared tracking technology and a gyroscope-accelerometer without the need of a readily available commercial solution. This thesis also analyzes the limitations of this wireless implementation and suggests improvements for future solutions.

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