Discovery Center - Gesture controlled robot

From Mindworks
Jump to: navigation, search
Team Name U of I Discovery
Duration Fall 2018 - Spring 2019
Faculty Adviser
  • Steven Beyerlein
  • Dr. Joel Perry
  • Discovery Center of Idaho
Team Members
  • Evangelos Stratigakes
  • Chaeun Kim
  • Zhihui Wang
  • Austyn Sullivan-Watson

The goal of the project is to equip the Discovery Center of Idaho with their first fully functioning, motion actuated robotics exhibit. This exhibit will feature a robot arm that can be controlled using hand gestures as well as a variety of activities that users can complete based on different skill tiers (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

Problem Definition[edit]

We need to be able to control a robotic arm using hand gestures, tracked through a motion sensory device. In addition, our robot must be able to operate within the confines of it's enclosure such that it is safe for the user to operate and that the robot is not damaged by user input.


Currently, the Discovery Center of Idaho does not have a robotics exhibit to show. This project will allow children and patrons of all ages to learn about robotics as well as interact with a live robot that they can control using only their hand gestures.


  • Fully assembled robot arm with leap motion sensor
  • Software program to control robot
  • Documentation on how to operate/ maintain/ troubleshoot the system


  • Robot arm must be compact and transportable
  • 2-3 activities that the robot arm can perform based on user skill
    • Beginner
    • Intermediate
    • Advanced
  • User must be able to control robot using a Leap Motion controller
  • Activities must be able to be reset easily for the next user
  • Parts used (actuators, microcontrollers, etc.) must be easily replaceable and maintainable
  • Exhibit must be safe for all ages to operate

Project Learning[edit]

Leap Motion[edit]

The Leap Motion controller is a motion tracking device that can be used to track hand gestures. The controller is capable of tracking an individual's palm, forearm, and each individual finger joint. In addition, the sensor can track two hands at a time. This controller tracks hand gestures using two different cameras, and is found to perform better when overhead light is at a minimum.

Leap motion controller tracking hand gestures

Servo Diagram[edit]

This diagram shows the configuration of the servos used to actuate the robot arm.

  • Servo 1 controls the base rotation
  • Servos 2 and 3 control shoulder movement
  • Servos 4 and 5 control elbow movement
  • Servo 6 controls the vertical movement of the wrist
  • Servo 7 controls the wrist rotation
  • Servo 8 controls the end effector


System Diagram 1[edit]

UIDiscovery sd1.png

System Diagram 2[edit]

UIDiscovery sd2.png

System Diagram 3[edit]

UIDiscovery sd3.png


Team Members[edit]

[[File: |180px|thumb|left]] Evangelos Stratigakes

Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Boise, ID
Graduation Date: May 2019
Future Goals: After graduating, Evangelos wants to work as a software engineer for a major tech company.

[[File: |180px|thumb|left]] Zhihui Wang

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Graduation Date:
Future Goals:

[[File: |180px|thumb|left]] Chaeun Kim

Major: Computer Science
Graduation Date:
Future Goals:

[[File: |180px|thumb|left]] Austyn Sullivan-Watson

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Graduation Date:
Future Goals:

Additional Documentation[edit]

Project Schedule


Meeting Minutes




Client Interview