TIIC 2016 North America: Motion Tracking Sleeve

University: Texas A&M University - College Station
Team Members: David Sargent, John Hoehner, Matthew DeStefano, Ross Clutson
TI Parts Used:

  • MSP430G2553
  • CD4051BE
  • TVL2217
  • CD74AC05E
  • CD74AC158E

Project Description

The Goal of this project is to create a virtual reality glove system that allows for position tracking and full range of motion without losing data when the hand or arm is otherwise not visible. The project consists of sensors, a Microcontroller Unit (MCU), an Application Programming Interface (API), and a demo application. The sleeve takes angle measurements of the human hand and arm. This is accomplished using potentiometers, and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) module on the MCU. Capacitive touch pads on the fingertips act as buttons, and an accelerometer paired with a gyroscope and magnetometer allow for gesture tracking of the hand. The data acquired by the MCU is forwarded to a computer where it is processed and used in an application. Together these systems allow for arm and hand position tracking in situations that would be impossible by other means.

This device uses a standard 2.4 GHz wireless communication to send and receive data from the host computer. This is done using Nordic Semiconductor’s NRF24L01 module. This allows the user freedom to move about and give full, natural range of motion. The transceiver communicates via Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) to the MCU. Each of the IMU, capacitive touch sensor, radios use the same protocol, so the MCU acts as a single-master, multi-slave device. Both the IMU and capacitive pads are mounted to the hand while the joint sensors are mounted on each joint from the fingertip to the shoulder. Joint angles are measured potentiometers as voltage dividers. The voltage level on the center pin determines the angle of the associated joint. The data retrieved from the sensor array is placed into a standard character array, with each sensor mapped to a specific element. The MCU sends the measured data to a computer via Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART), and the computer processes that data for use in an application.

  • The primary feature of the sleeve is the ability to individually monitor each joint, from the shoulder to the finger tip.
  • Unlike other products, this sleeve is not reliant on field of view. If the user moves, or places their hand behind their back, there is no loss of information. There is no "window" that the user must stay in. This provides far greater versatility.
  • In it's current stage no. It is intended to be.
  • The sleeve includes a 9-degree of freedom inertial measurement unit (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer) as well as a capacitive touch sensor that gives the the opportunity for even more creative uses.


Source code and additional design information can be located in our class report.

User's Guide

Please see our "How To Guide" in the attached zip file.