Tag Archives: robotic hand

Explore the world of robotics with this 3D-printed, Arduino-driven hand

Hobby Hand is a 3D-printed robotic hand that mimics natural movement and can be easily controlled by anyone.

The brainchild of Iowa City-based Biomechanical Robotics Group, the Hobby Hand is a 3D-printed robotic hand capable of mimicking the natural movements of its human overlord.


The modular platform is ideal for hobbyists, tinkerers, Makers and robotics enthusiasts, as well as educators looking to introduce students to programming, analog sensors and hardware. In terms of its design, the Hobby Hand consists of five servo motors for lateral movement and five additional servos responsible for bending. A top piece mounts the hand onto the servo motor frame, which guides the flexion cables to the servos.

An Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) and servo shield are tucked away inside the base, which acts as the control center for the Hobby Hand. This is also where you’ll find all of the motors, sensors and additional peripherals attached to the board. The electronics are driven by a 5V 4A power supply.


Each finger has a total of four bands that saddle the center line to maximize the stability of each digit. These elastics are tasked with bringing the finger back to its original position after closing. Additionally, the team has devised an analog board of potentiometers that handle flexion and side-to-side movement.

What’s more, the Hobby Hand even comes with a mini breadboard, which is connected to the servo motor frame. This enables Makers to add extra analog sensors (light, sound, muscle and others), LEDs and speakers to their project.


The hand itself ships in one of two forms: either as a fully-assembled, out-of-the-box product or as a DIY kit with a step-by-step instruction manual. The Biomechanical Robotics Group crew advises that the latter option requires some basic soldering know-how and a few common tools. Intrigued? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where the team is currently seeking $30,000. Delivery is slated for June 2016.

This robotic hand will swipe left or right on Tinder for you

The True Love Tinder Robot will “find you love, guaranteed.”

Are you an active user of popular social media dating apps? Have you made some poor decisions lately? Well, fear no more. Nicole He, a graduate student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, has developed a robot that reads your body’s reaction as you browse through Tinder profiles, and then swipes right or left based on your skin’s response. In fact, she promises the bot will “find you love, guaranteed” merely by reading the change in your galvanic skin response over a period of time. (Meaning, how sweaty your palms get.)


As simple as today’s sites make finding a potential suitor, if contemplating between age, location and looks still requires too much thought, the True Love Tinder Robot can be your perfect wingman. The system itself is powered by an Arduino, and includes a pair of servos to move the hand, some LEDs, a text-to-speech module, a bunch of wires, a speaker and a couple of sheets of metal that act as a skin sensor. There is also an indentation for your palms.

With Tinder open, you put your smartphone down in from of the rubber hand. Once you’ve placed your hands down on the sensors, a robotic voice (inspired by the villain GlaDOS from Portal 2) guides you through the process and questions your feelings. As you are looking at each profile, the True Love Tinder Robot will read your true heart’s desire through the sensors and decide whether or not you are a good match with that person based on how your body reacts.

For instance, it’ll ask things such as “Do you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person?” If it determines that you’re attracted to that person, it will swipe right. If not, it will swipe left. Throughout the process, it will make commentary on your involuntary decisions. Although galvanic skin response may not be the most precise measurement, it is often used by Scientologists for spiritual auditing and by law enforcement as part of polygraph tests.


The first prototype of the bot actually attempted to incorporate facial recognition, but was later swapped out for galvanic skin response. The idea behind GSR is pretty straightforward: when you see or experience something stimulating, your skin reacts appropriately by creating an electrodermal response. As your skin gets a little wetter, it becomes more conductive to electricity. GSR then measures that physiological feedback through skin conduction.

“In a time when it’s very normal for couples to meet online, we trust that algorithms on dating sites can find us suitable partners. Simultaneously, we use consumer biometric devices to tell us what’s going on with our bodies and what we should do to be healthy and happy. Maybe it’s not a stretch to consider what happens when we combine these things,” He explains.

The premise is that a computer may actually know you better than you know yourself, so why not let it pick you a date? While chances are the installation may not choose your future hubby or wifey, it’s still a pretty nifty project nevertheless.

“I want this project to be sort of amusing, kind of creepy and slightly embarrassing. I want the user to feel a tension between the robot assuring you that it knows best and not being sure whether or not to trust it. I want the user to question whether or not we should let a computer make intimate decisions for us,” He writes.

He has provided a detailed overview of the project and has made it entirely open source with all of its code available on GitHub.


Explore the world of robotics with LIME

LIME is a robotic hand designed to teach young Makers the basics of robotics.

Created by Raleigh, North Carolina-based G Industries, LIME is a prototype robotic hand uniquely designed to introduce young Makers to the world of robotics. Through its simple plug-and-play system, users will be able to build, connect and program their own creations in an expedited yet educational manner. CEO Miguel Gonzalez hopes that the recently-launched Kickstarter project is just the beginning of future fully-functional Android that’ll enable new possibilities to the next-generation of tinkerers.


Comprised of black acrylic, LIME is powered by three servo motors, five fingers and five pin connections, and is controlled by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328). Additional components include electronic cables, a 6V AC adaptor, some screws and elastic nylon stretchers.

Makers can start developing their robotic project right out of the box using its companion Lyoth software, which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. What’s more, the software allows Makers to establish quick and easy connections to begin devising their projects. Lyoth features a visual interface that lets users test and command their robotic hand using either onscreen circular graphics or a standard joystick controller via USB. Moving forward, LIME can even be attached to arms, enabling it to expand and grow with the Makers themselves.

“We want to open a market that can change the world, and literally create a new world in which society grows along with robotics. That’s my motivation behind this project,” Gonzalez explains.

If you share the same vision and are interested in backing LIME, head over to its official Kickstarter page. There, the G Industries team is currently seeking $30,000. Pending all goes well, shipment is expected to begin in July 2015.

A low-cost robotic hand powered by Arduino

An Italian Maker by the name of Marco Pucci recently posted a link on the Arduino Facebook page to a tutorial, where he created a low-cost robotic hand that is capable of mimicking the movements of a human. The robotic hand unit was developed using an Atmel-powered Arduino Uno and a series of flex sensors.

As demonstrated in the video above, the movements are measured by sensors affixed to each of the gloved hand’s fingers, which are analyzed by the Arduino board. Directions are then sent to the threads attached to the robotic hand via servo motors, which enables the robot to fully imitate the human gestures.


The sensors were fastened to the glove with various basic piping and wiring materials. When attempting to attach the sensors, Marco notes that, “The best way to fix it is to sew or fasten with tape.”


You can read Marco’s full tutorial in Italian here, which is also available through Google Translate. Interested in other Arduino-powered projects, there’s plenty to sift through in our Bits & Pieces archive on the subject here.

Video: Atmel & Arduino power this robotic hand

A high school student known as “Gabry25” has designed a wirelessly controlled robotic hand using an Atmel-based Arduino LilyPad and an Atmel-powered Arduino Uno.

As Julian Horsey of Geeky Gadgets reports, the wireless robotic hand faithfully reproduces the movements of an accompanying glove worn on another hand.

Aside from the above-mentioned Arduino boards, key project components include:

  • Shield to connect the Xbee module
  • Robot_Shield
  • 5 Flex sensors
  • 5 resistors: 47 KΩ
  • Battery pack with 3×1.5 V batteries
  • LilyPad FTDI adapter (optional)
  • A steel structure for the palm of the hand and wood for the fingers
  • 5 servomotors
  • Fishing wires
  • 9 V Battery

“To connect the servomotors I used the Robot_Shield from FuturaElettronica, which has also a switching regulator to power the entire circuit, but you can use any shield made for that,” Gabry25 explained in a recent Instructables post.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here.

An Arduino-based robotic hand powered by the mind

A young Maker by the name of Shiva Nathan has designed a robotic (prosthetic) hand powered by an Atmel-based Arduino. At this stage, rudimentary control over the device is exercised by the user via an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset. As Samantha Allen of the Lowell Sun reportsNathan wants to modify the controls so his arm can do even more, including moving its wrist, wiggling fingers and bending at the elbow.

In the meantime, Nathan plans on developing his “Arduino prosthetic” as an open-source project, with schematic designs anyone can download, mod and customize.

“I’m definitely looking to do this … especially because these prosthetics can retail for hundreds of thousands of dollars, which basically renders them all but out of reach of many residents in Third World countries and even war veterans who just returned home and are working for minimum wage,” he told the Lowell Sun. “In the U.S. alone, there are 185,000 amputations performed each year so the necessity of this device becomes huge when you think about the implications.”

Unsurprisingly, Nathan’s project won first place in the 2013 National microMedics contest this past January, in the education category. However, because Shiva is under 18, he couldn’t receive a cash prize, so contest organizers rewarded him with $5,000 worth of electronics equipment instead.

As noted above, Shiva says he has high hopes for his prosthetic arm for the future and plans to keep fine-tuning it. He also emphasizes that his father has been instrumental in helping him develop the piece, which he built (in part) at the Nova Write machine shop under his father’s careful watch.

Shiva says he is one of the “lucky” citizens in Westford (Mass.) with access to great equipment and hopes his newly stocked workshop can help others.

“I’m trying to improve their quality of life, to help them unleash their creativity, by giving them all the resources they need free of charge. I was lucky enough to have people who care about me supply me with these resources,” he adds.