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  • Darryl L

Alyx's Gravity Gloves

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

The grabbity gloves worn by Alyx and made by Russell from Half-Life: Alyx. I couldn't sit still while waiting for my vr equipment to arrive, so I did the only natural thing and made Alyx's gravity gloves for myself.





1st Iteration


Initially tried using an on-off toggle switch and tried containing the stacked batteries in a sheet metal cylinder held together by tiny magnets.



This first iteration uses 4 3V CR2016 button cells-a thinner version of the cmos batteries used in desktop motherboards-that are stacked atop each other in series to increase the resulting voltage. The first electromagnet on the palm requires 12V DC to run which is why this stack works.





2nd Iteration


Ditched the older steel case containing the batteries. Took awhile of messing around to figure out how to stick the batteries to the surface of the fabric. Ended up placing magnets on the backside and topside of the fabric with the batteries sitting on the topside magnet.



The batteries were wrapped with cling wrap for convenience and scotch-taped over slightly. This way the stack would stay in position better.



Changed the physical base glove. Switched from the somewhat cooler looking fingerless faux leather gloves to these mostly fabric and partly genuine leather work gloves with full fingers. The full fingers were required even though it didn't match the original intended design because the half fingers weren't very good at pulling the steel bands over the knuckles.



The biggest change here was the trigger system. Swapped out the toggle switch, which was too hard to pull and required a harness attached up my forearm, to a metal contact system for closing the circuit.



This new system consists of the nut attached to the surface of the index finger's knuckle and the steel band levitating above it. I also added nylon braided cable sleeving while rewiring the battery pack.




3rd Iteration


This version was mostly an attempt to make the battery switching process faster. Notice that this is the right hand's glove. I recreated a similar design on the right side glove this time.



I also ditched the middle finger's steel band as they served no purpose besides aesthetics.



This battery setup uses nuts and paperclips for quick installation and release.





4th Iteration


Hooked up a blue voltmeter within the circuit, parallel to the electromagnet. As a result the voltmeter's readings show the voltage across the electromagnet.



Ran into a problem that had to do with the stacked button batteries. The 5 stack (15V) was severely underpowered as the discharge rate was something like 1 milliamperes or 0.001 amps. While the maximum current of the electromagnet is 0.26 amps.



I temporarily switched to eight AA batteries which have a max draw of 0.05 amps. The AA batteries then can discharge significantly more than the stacked button cells. Will try to use 9V batteries in series to reduce size later.




5th Iteration


Added a servo atop the back of the hand. Controlled by an Arduino Uno and a potentiometer. Arduino is powered by a 9V battery.



Soon after taking these pics and vids I ran into a big problem. I ended up unearthing all the wiring and cutting the heat shrinking tubes open to make sure the contacts were all good.



Ended up finding out that the voltmeter was shorted as the index's band was bridging its contacts under the board. Need to get more replacement voltmeters and insulate the back half of the index band.

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