Project Grip - Parametric Data Glove

by zackfreedman, published

Project Grip - Parametric Data Glove by zackfreedman Jun 3, 2016


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DIY Cyborg Data Gloves

Project Grip is a minimalist data glove designed to control wearable computers. Its ring-like configuration exposes the fingers and palm, and its low friction maximizes maneuverability.

Requires Flexpoint polyimide-coated sensors. Will not work with Spectra flex sensors.

Unlike conventional data gloves, your Project Grip is intended for everyday wear. It measures a single joint per finger, which is unsuitable for full-immersion VR but more than enough to control a Google Glass, Moverio, Raspberry Pi, or other HUD computer. The low profile and minimal friction make your Project Grip comfortable enough to wear all day. If you break a ring, simply print another.

What you get

This model includes four sets of finger sensor carrier rings, one for each finger. The rings are worn on the first and second joint and hold a polyimide-coated Flexpoint flex sensor with its factory-installed socket.

You must use a polyimide Flexpoint sensor. The rough 3D-printed surface will scrape Spectra flex sensors, polyester-coated sensors, and uncoated sensors to destruction.

Measuring the sensors

You are expected to design and build your own wearable device to measure and act on the sensors. The Flexpoint sensors are exceptionally repeatable and can be read with a simple resistor divider and modern ADC.

No thumb?

The thumb was intentionally excluded. Wearing this sensor on the thumb would cover the thumb tip and unnecessarily restrict manual dexterity.


  • There are too many parameters! Print a set, test fit, and then adjust anything that's uncomfortable or loose.
  • What flex sensor can I use? You can use a Flexpoint polyimide (Kapton) flex sensor. Make sure it comes with the blue plastic socket. You can size your Project Grip to fit the 1", 2", or 3" sensor. You can buy these sensors directly from Flexpoint.
  • Can I use a Spectra flex sensor? No. You must use a Flexpoint sensor. Spectra flex sensors suck anyways.
  • But I can only get Spectra sensors on Adafruit/Sparkfun/The People's Republic of Yakoslevonia! Life sucks. Wear a hat.
  • Why only one sensor per finger? It's all you need to pick up common gestures like pointing. More sensors would make the glove clunkier.
  • Why no thumb? One of the thumb rings would need to cover the thumb tip, basically making the finger useless. It's also very obstructive. You can often infer thumb position from the other fingers.
  • Will these connect to my phone/brain/Google Glass/drone? Yes. You will need to build the electronics yourself.
  • Will you build those electronics for me? Yes. My base rate is $150 per hour. It'll take about 50 hours to make your electronics.
  • But I want to use this right now! Welcome to the bleeding edge, broski.
  • What are you connecting yours to? An Epson Moverio. I'll share more info when that's done.
  • Could I use these to control a video game or a sequencer? Your life will likely end within 40 years. Please use your remaining time more productively.
  • Is this a total ripoff of the Gest? Yes. Also the P5 Glove.
  • Why do you have tiny little baby fingers? I didn't drink my milk when I was a kid.
  • How does this compare to the Power Glove? Far more accurate, and far less bad.

Print Settings

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Print with three shells for increased strength.

To further increase strength, ensure that the rings are parallel with the build plate. This prevents layer boundaries from adding weak points to the ring.

The model tolerates low layer heights well. Use the thickest possible layers to print models for test fits. Print your final set at high resolution to minimize uncomfortable rough spots.

The customizable script will generate each finger individually. Don't waste time printing unnecessary fingers!

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there is so much to do with a project like that

Hi! I tried to print for a single finger with customizer, but it always ends with an error without details.
Is there anything I can try?

As a workaround i opened it in openscad and set part = "index"; in the script to achieve this

Comments deleted.

I like your answer about making the electronics. If you get too far behind, let your customers know that I'm available, too, though my prices may be "somewhat higher"! :-)

Sooooo... where do you GET Flexpoint polyimide-coated sensors?

As of 7/3/2016, you can buy them from the manufacturer at http://www.flexpoint.com/product/bend-sensor/ .

I omitted this URL from the description in case it becomes broken in the future.

Hey,i bet you don´t know, but is there a supplier in europe? They wanna have 100 $ to ship 2 of these to germany..

Thanks! Cool project, BTW.