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P5 Virtual Reality Glove

[WWW]Essential Reality VR Glove

Picked one of these up on sale for $20 from [WWW]Tiger Direct. It is an interesting piece of technology. The base plugs up to the usb port. Each finger has a bend sensor. There are 7 led's and 4 buttons on the glove. The base station can see up to 4 of them at a time depending on the orientation of your hand. Essential Reality makes a software development kit available for linux and for Windows. Unfortunately, the Windows version only supports Visual C++. To get around using vile Micro$oft software, I have ported a linux GNU C program from Jason Mc Mullan <> that dumps the raw data from the glove. This program uses the [WWW]libusb drivers for linux. Fortunately, some enterprising individuals have ported this package to Windows. I was able to compile the software and with a few tweaks, make it run.

The glove sends packets that contain the status of each button, the value of the finger bend sensors, and from 0 to 4 x,y,z readings from the led's. The next step is to figure out how to convert those x,y,z readings into roll, pitch, and yaw data.

Update 10/04/2004 - Carl Kenner has created a version of P5DLL.dll that is what Essential Reality should have released in the first place. It supports all languages instead of just yucky old M$ VC++. It also supports absolute mode instead of just relative mode. The code is available in the Yahoo groups files section here:

Update 11/17/2004 I have written a Java program that utilizes Carl's P5DLL.dll and the javax comm api to control a [WWW]Lynxmotion Arm. I have made the source code available. The new project page for the combined P5 Glove and Lynxmotion Arm is at RobotGlove.

Update 05/19/2007 - Updated the RobotGlove software to work with the Beta 3 (not 3.1) version of the CP5DLL and to use RXTX instead of javax.

The Code

[WWW]p5dump.c Sohtturce code to dump program for Windows.

[WWW]p5dump.exe The executable. Requires libusb-win32 to be installed.

[WWW]p5glove.c Source code for P5 Glove support routines.

[WWW]p5glove.h Include file for P5 Support routines.

[WWW] Portable Java program that allows a P5 glove to control a Lynxmotion robot arm.


[WWW] A really great web page by Ross Becina. Lots of P5 info and links to VR glove info in general.

[WWW] Another great P5 resource.

[WWW] The P5 Glove Wiki site. A Wiki site devoted to P5.

This page is maintained by EricLundquist.

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