Teensy can school you at Guitar Hero

[Johnny Chung Lee] put together a system that is perfect at playing Guitar Hero. He’s using the PlayStation 2 version and, as you can see above he’s combined a controller connector and a Teensy microcontroller board to communicate with the console using its native SPI protocol. This custom guitar controller receives its signals via USB from a computer that is monitoring the video from the console and calculating the controller signals necessary for perfect gameplay. [Johnny] wrote an OpenCV program that monitors the video, removes the perspective from the virtual fretboard, and analyzes color and speed of the notes coming down the screen.

As you can see after the break it works like a charm. It’s fun from a programming standpoint, but if you want a hack you can actually play maybe you should build your own Banjo Hero.

Comments

  1. StopTheMadness says:

    I don’t even understand why someone would do this yes it shows creativity and talent with micro controllers. But why cheat?

  2. Gdogg says:

    That is very cool. I wonder why he chose PS2 over any of the other systems

  3. it really works :)

  4. I’ve considered building one of these so many times….

  5. Shane says:

    It’s cool, but apparently has problems with long notes, and I assume lacks the ability to use star power (which I assume because it analyzes the color of the notes). Also, what happens when you get the notes that give you star power? Does it play them? That’s the problem with just using the color of the notes…

    Still, though, it’s pretty neat :)

  6. Decepticon says:

    These are pretty cool, but I have still yet to see one grasp the concept of sustain.

  7. @Shane: I would assume you could remedy the problem with long notes by using some logic to automatically hold all notes by as long as possible. Also I don’t believe he’s using color to identify the notes so much as their position on the screen which means star power notes would work as well.

    A neat enhancement would be one that records all the buttons in the song, then analyzes it to determine when it should use star power to maximize the score.

  8. Gdogg says:

    @StopTheMadness

    Are you kidding? It’s not cheating, because he isn’t playing. I really doubt he’s doing this for points, he’s done it as a challenge, and he succeeded. Do you think he thinks this makes him better at guitar hero?

    @Shane I didn’t look at the site, but why would it have a problem with colour? It should just look at the position (since each note is always the same position, regardless of star power. and compare ti with the background. Even star power has has the white caps on top. I can see long notes being trouble though.

  9. PosiCat says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily call this cheating … I mean, quite a lot of work went into making this work. That’s like calling a car cheating at “horse and buggy” … it’s just a next step, an improvement utilizing a different form of skill.

    Yeah, that’s the only way I’d win any of these games myself, build something to play it.

  10. Shane says:

    The article said it used color and position — position was determine how fast it was coming, not what note it is. Position has too many variables, like how far the camera is from the TV, what angle it is, etc. It would be hard to do it like that, but I guess you could.

  11. Chris says:

    I’ve often thought that building a system such as this would be the only way to have fun with guitar hero. What a stupid “game”.

  12. Gdogg says:

    @Shane ah.. definitely not how I would have done it. I would have intercepted the video feed, that way position IS consistent.

  13. Jason says:

    @Gdogg
    He is intercepting the video feed. Watch the very beginning of the video where he lists the process, it says “USB Video Capture”.

  14. Shane says:

    The article says it’s by camera. Also, the device doesn’t look like it has anywhere to intercept video feed, wouldn’t it have to go through the device to do that?

  15. Alex Rossie says:

    @StopTheMadness, this is epic.

  16. Mr. Sandman says:

    i wanna see TTFAF on expert.

  17. StopTheMadness says:

    I absolutely agree with you this is an incredible gadget. and the thought that went into I couldn’t even begin to grasp. The question I had was why? I would love to be able to gadget like this but I have a hard time grasping at the concept itself. I think it is very creative and shows a lot of skill.

    But again WHY? was it just to do it?

  18. fluidic says:

    I set up something similar at one point to do fusions in Persona 3. Use OpenCV to recognize the right screen area and pull a copy of the image, then feed it into OCR. The Teensy is very nice for rapid development.

    The catch is that you have to do the CV (and OCR) work on a computer…

    As to why: it’s fun and people can. What more reason do you need?

  19. Olivier says:

    @Shane: if you watch the video, @0:04 it clearly says “USB Video Capture”, so there’s no camera.

  20. Lenny says:

    From the website “For video capture, I’m just using a $30 USB capture device. Since real-time processing was priority for me, 640×480 images @ 30Hz is plenty of resolution to start with. In fact, for this starter project, I’m just using 320×240.”

    and a link to the video capture device (also from the web site): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815100112&cm_re=usb_video_capture-_-15-100-112-_-Product

  21. strider_mt2k says:

    I don’t need a device like this to get up and walk away from this inane excuse for a game! :D

    The project and the work that went into it are noteworthy however, and have merit.

    Cool hack.

    Now can we play something GOOD? ;)

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE
    I hope Santa brings us all something cool to hack!
    (c’mon spygear trakkr!)

  22. bsmulders says:

    Very nice. I thought the lag created by the resource-hungry image processing would kill the performance, but you can easily fix this by moving the target line upwards.

  23. Adam Outler says:

    There is a better one which uses a camera and flares the hold notes on YouTube… Its a better implementation I think.

  24. Dr. DFTBA says:

    Does anyone have a good link to do this in reverse? I want to have a teensy read the input from the controller.

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