There are several mechanical contraptions out there that use gesture-control to do what they do. But, just as with anything else, there's always room for some sort of improvement. This new mechanical arm, which is controlled strictly by gestures, is impressive in of itself, but also because of the cameras that are used to track the movements of the human operator.
The whole system isn't set up to let the arm just react to how the human moves, but has a video working as the middle-man. The robotic arm moves in near real-time, based on the visuals it analyzes via video stream that tracks not only the arm, but also the hand. There are two cameras involved in the process, and they track not only the position and orientation of the controller's appendage, but also the general movements. It also tracks the shape. It manages to do all of this 100 times per second.
The technology used allows the robotic arm to squeeze a ball, or grab other objects, based on what it analyzes in the video. So, what are the scientists behind this robotic arm aiming for next? They intend to have the arm interacting with 3D displays. Check out the arm working in the video below.