Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Advisor

Dr. Thad Welch, Ph.D., P.E.


Elisa Barney Smith, Ph.D.


Nadar Rafla, Ph.D.


Hao Chen, Ph.D.


The primary Human Computer Interfaces (HCI) today are the keyboard and mouse. These interfaces do not facilitate a fluid flow of thought and intent from the operator to the computer. A computer mouse provides only 2 Degrees of Freedom (2DOF). Touch interfaces also provide 2DOF, but with multiple points, making the touch interface far more expressive. The hand has 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DOF)by itself. Combined with the motion of the fingers, the hand has the potential to represent a vast array of differing gestures. Hand gestures must be captured before they can be used as a HCI. Fortunately, advances in device manufacturing now make it possible to build a complete Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) the size of a fingernail.

This thesis documents the design and development of a glove out tted with six IMUs. The IMUs are used to track the finger and hand positions. The glove employs a controller board for capturing IMU data and interfacing with the host computer. Python™ software on the host computer captures data from the glove. MATLAB™ is used to perform IMU calculations of the incoming data. The calculated data drives a 3D visualization of the glove rendered in Panda3D™. Future work using the glove would include improved IMU algorithms and development of gesture pattern recognition.