DC, AC electricity used for measurement
In the case of conventional data gloves, a bend sensor is used for each finger. And the bending of a finger is recognized based on the change of electric resistance caused by the distortion of the sensor. In addition, to recognize contacts between fingers, it is necessary to use a pressure sensor.
On the other hand, the Grov uses conductive fibers woven into the entire glove as sensors. By using both direct-current (DC) and alternating-current (AC) electricity to process the measurements of bending and contacts in a time-sharing manner, it becomes possible to simultaneously recognize various finger movements.
The bending of fingers can be measured because the value of resistance applied to DC electricity is changed due to contacts and short circuits between conductive fibers at the time of folding or unfolding fingers. Contacts between fingers and the holding of an object are recognized by using a design that applies AC electricity with different frequencies to fingers/objects and analyzing the transmission of AC electricity.
The Grov consists of (1) a commercially-available conductive fiber-woven glove supporting touch panels and (2) a measurement circuit equipped with the "Arduino" microcomputer board, Bluetooth communication module, etc. Because it uses commercially-available parts, it can be easily made. And the weight of the glove is 20g (100g including circuits), which is lighter than the weights of conventional data gloves.
Moreover, the glove itself is soft, durable and washable as in the case of normal gloves.
The cost of the Grov is US$30-40. It can be operated for 10 hours. Its resolution is more than 400 for bending, 2 for opening and 13 points for contact. Four kinds of markers can be attached to objects.
The Grov is expected to be used for various applications such as VR games, remote control of robot hands and recognition of finger alphabets and sign language in the future.