Designing an NES Power Glove Light Suit

Designed by Grant Goddard and Samuel Cooper Davis for Abrams/Gentile Entertainment and made by Mattel in the United States, the Power Glove was originally released in 1989. The next-gen wearable was equipped with traditional NES controller buttons on the forearm as well as a program button and buttons labeled 0-9. Unfortunately, the gaming device failed to catch on in popularity and was criticized for its imprecise and difficult-to-use controls.

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However, a Maker by the name of Greg Sowell decided to transform the obsolete NES Power Glove into a psychedelic light suit using addressable LED strips and an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega168).

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The Maker was inspired by a video from one of his favorite bands Hypercrush, which featured a member wearing a Power Glove-like device with lasers coming out of the ends. With a light suit already in his possession, Sowell thought, “Why not control the suit with the Power Glove?” And thus, the project was born.

Additional materials used in his build included:

  • 12 – 10k resistors: Pull down for buttons and voltage divider for bend sensors
  • WS2812 RGB LED strip from Adafruit or Sparkfun: Used 5-meter strips
  • 300 ohm resistor: To protect data pin
  • 1000 uF cap: Just before the light strip to protect the lights
  • 2-USB cables: To power the system
  • 5V 2A USB battery pack
  • 2 – 10mm LEDs
  • 10-foot stranded Cat 5 cable
  • Adafruit’s NeoPixel Library

Interested in learning more? You can find a full breakdown of Sowell’s build on his website here.

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