Proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks − or at least repurpose them for modern uses − one retro-loving engineer has turned a Nintendo Power Glove into a controller for a drone. Nolan Moore demonstrated the modified version of Mattel's 1989 NES motion controller at 2016's Hackaday Maker Faire in San Francisco.
There was not much love for the original Power Glove when it was released, which fell some ways short of its bombastic portrayal in Mattel's hilariously cheesy 80s TV ad. Nearly 30s years after its release, however, the peripheral appears to have finally found its calling in life – after receiving a fairly substantial upgrade, that is.
After a bit of tinkering, Moore turned the Power Glove into a gesture-based controller for a Parrot AR Drone by stripping out most the device's original components and replacing them with modern control boards and sensors. A battery upgrade was also needed to keep the more powerful innards ticking over, while a Wi-Fi transmitter was also added for controlling the drone, in place of a standard RC transmitter.
The project went through a couple of iterations, which Moore details in full on his project blog. One feature initially planned for the glove involved integrating a Nokia phone display into the sensor module, which would have provided a heads-up display for monitoring data on the drone while airborne. Sadly, this idea eventually had to be scrapped as "concepts gave way to requirements".
Moore is already working on a second version of a control board for his Power Glove though, to which he hopes to pack in Bluetooth support and a Musical Instrument Digital Interface − perhaps so he can pump out Flight Of The Valkyries as he sets his army of drones upon the world.
Meanwhile, if you happen to have a Power Glove lying around and don't have the time, energy or knowledge to turn it into something useful, you could try selling it on eBay − it might fetch you a pretty penny.