Nintendo Power Glove Hack Lets You Control Drones Like A Boss

Drone Power Glove

If you grew up in the NES era, you probably lusted over the Power Glove, especially after watching The Wizard, now considered a bit of a cult classic. About halfway through the flick, a character named Lucas Barton shows off the accessory and says, "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad." Unfortunately the Power Glove never lived up to the hype, but fast forward nearly three decades later and it's finally found its calling—as a wireless controller for drones!

Modder Nolan Moore gutted a brand new Famicon Power Glove that he scored from eBay after weeks of searching for a good deal. Other than some of the branding, logos, language, and connector on the sensor unit, it's virtually the same as the version Mattel sold in the U.S. back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Modded Power Glove

This wasn't a quick and dirty mod. Moore started off with an ATmega-based Arduino board but eventually replaced it with a Teensy 3 for the added computing power that he anticipated needing. There's a detailed work log that describes all the geeky details, along with some of the delays due to the overall complexity of the project (it wasn't easy fitting all the necessary parts inside the Power Glove), but the end result was a Power Glove with built-in Wi-Fi.

Moore took his creation to the San Francisco's Bay Area Maker Faire and setup a booth with a netted cage. Inside he used the Power Glove to control an AR Drone quadcopter. Check it out.

His modded Power Glove works better as a drone controller than it ever did for playing NES games. It's also fairly simple to use—holding your hand flat makes the drone hover, while making a fist and tilting it results in pitch and roll commands. To affect the altitude, the wearer need only point straight, while twisting the hand translates into yaw control.

Tip of the hat to Moore for one of the coolest mods we've seen in a long time!