Hey folks! Today we’re looking at trying a more advanced version of the light theremin project found in the Arduino Starter Kit. The light theremin project is really fun to make but can feel limiting when you can only use it with a bulky board that you can’t move around as easily. So we’re going to update this to a more movement focused method: gloves.
There’s a few different ideas on how to make light theremin gloves out there that are easy to find with a quick search. I’ve used Hamlet’s Hand Glove Light Theremin as a guide for my own venture. The goal here is to make two gloves with light theremins so that we can make all the fun sounds with a whole lot more movement and portability.
For this project you’ll need: a maker nano, a piezo, a light sensor, standard wire, and a glove. If you’re looking to make two like I’m doing just double your components! I’ll be using the Arduino IDE tool to upload the proper code to the nano.
First things first: get your wire prepped. Cut the lengths you’ll need, I went a big longer with 3 pieces at 4 inches and 3 pieces at 2.5 inches. Then you can strip the silicone off the ends, twist the internal wires and tin them. If you need a refresher go ahead and check out our intro to soldering guide.
Then it’s time to start soldering.
You’ll be making a circuit with the nano powering it. The piezo will have one side going straight to D5 on the nano, the other side will go to GND. The GND side will meet two other wires, one will connect the piezo to the 20 KOhm that then leads to the light sensor. The second wire connected to the 20 KOhm will go back to the nano and connect with A0. The 20 KOhm will connect to one side the light sensor and the final wire will connect from the light sensor to 5V on the board.
This will complete the circuit.
Before or after soldering you can plug in your nano and open up the Arduino IDE to upload the Light Theremin code that can be found in the Examples menu under File. Once it’s compiled and uploaded the nano will have the programming needed to act as a light theremin. You may need to download a specific driver for the maker nano, you can find the driver links through our maker nano page. Make sure the nano is plugged in while you install the driver.
Finally you’ll need to spend a bit of time hand sewing the circuit to a glove. Due to the time of year I was only able to find weight lifting gloves but I think they’re also kind of fun to use since they don’t keep my hands super warm during these hot summer days. Be careful not to piercing any wires and focus on placing them in areas that aren’t cumbersome to move around with.
Once you have everything all sewn onto the glove you should be good to go! Either use a battery or connect via USB to a computer to power the glove and then make some fun sounds. The benefit of the glove is being able to move around and experiment with different light sources. It makes it extra fun to play with!