Building a Gesture-Controlled Robotic Arm Powered by AI.

A Senior Project by AIU Students 

At the School of Electrical and Computing at American International University (AIU), Lulwah Alnashmi and Mohammed embarked on an exciting senior project. Their mission? To create a robotic arm that responds to hand gestures. Here's a simplified look at how they achieved this impressive feat.

Software Setup 

Lulwah and Mohammed used the Python programming language to bring their project to life. They incorporated libraries like OpenCV, MediaPipe, TensorFlow, PyFirmata, and Time. These tools taught the computer to recognize and interpret hand movements. Additionally, they used the Arduino IDE to enable communication between the computer and the robotic arm. 

Hardware Assembly 

The physical arm was built using four MG996R servos, known for their strength and precision, and a sturdy aluminum frame. To enhance durability, they added a stainless-steel plate. Each servo required 5 volts and 2.5 amps to operate efficiently. 

Control System 

An Arduino UNO board served as the central control unit, acting as the intermediary between the computer and the servos. By sending special signals, called PWM signals, from the Arduino to the servos, they could precisely control the arm's movements. 

Power Supply 

They used a 12-amp, 5-volt DC power supply to ensure a steady flow of electricity, allowing the robotic arm to function smoothly without any interruptions. 

How It Works 

Here's a simplified explanation of how the system works: 

  1. Hand Gesture Detection: When someone makes a hand gesture in front of a camera, the computer takes a picture of the gesture. 

  1. Gesture Recognition: Using the custom software, the computer identifies the specific hand gesture. 

  1. Signal Transmission: The computer then sends a signal to the Arduino board, instructing it on how to move the servos. 

  1. Arm Movement: The servos receive these instructions and move accordingly, making the robotic arm mimic the hand gesture in real-time. 

Lulwah and Mohammed's project beautifully demonstrates the synergy between smart software and innovative hardware. By combining their expertise in programming and engineering, they created a robotic arm that can move with just a wave of the hand. This project showcases the incredible potential of imagination and hard work in the field of technology. 

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