We’re always looking for more excuses to pull out the Raspberry Pi Build HAT, and this robotic arm created by the team at Creator Academy is a great one. With the Build HAT and a Raspberry Pi, they’ve constructed a robotic arm using LEGO components.
The arm consists of five posable fingers that can be controlled using a camera module. The camera records the user's hand, which the Pi then interprets before sending a command to the arm to mimic the gesture.
According to Creator Academy, the project consists of a Raspberry Pi, the Build HAT and pieces from a LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor 51515 kit. For image capturing, a Raspberry Pi Camera V2 Module is used.
The image recognition is handled by OpenCV. This is an open-source tool that users can implement to create custom-trained image recognition platforms—in the past, we’ve used it to identify faces. In this case, it scans frames from the camera to identify hands and what position they’re in. This data can be used to adjust the robotic arm to imitate the user's position in real-time.
To see this project in action, check out the original video shared to YouTube by Creator Academy.