Measure earth’s rotation with PlayStation Move

This somewhat odd-looking apparatus is being used to measure earth’s rotation. At the heart of the system is a PlayStation Move controller, used because of its dual-axis gyroscope which has the highest dynamic range compared to other available products like the Wii Motion Plus. It rests on a column perched atop a record player that was chosen because of its precision rotation rate. The two rings that flank the controller make up a Helmholtz coil which is used to cancel out the earth’s magnetic field which was found to be interfering with measurements taken by the Move controller. By recording data over time the experimenter can prove that the earth is indeed rotating, as well as ascertain longitude data and find true north. Check out the data-packed video after the break.

19 thoughts on “Measure earth’s rotation with PlayStation Move

  1. that is pretty cool. I could not think of what they were going to do with PS3 move seeing how the wii and 360 was hacked to death.
    @ piku
    scientology!!!!! RUN RUN FOR YOUR LIFE TOM CRUISE WANTS TO EAT YOUR SOULS FACE AND FORCE LIGHTNING YOU
    IN TO A GIANT VOLCANO OF DOOM!!!!!!! DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!! MMMMMHAHAHAHA (RUBS HANDS VIGOROUSLY) HE HAS OPRAH SOULS FACE ON DEEP FREEZE FOR LATER CONSUMPTION.

  2. I love this bit “if [they] were too accurate, ITAR might classify them as missile components. This is why we can’t have nice motion tracking.”

  3. cool.

    @piku
    because the scientologists are gearing to take over the world, like the christians once did. our best bet is to stop them now!

  4. Kaj … odd, I had exactly the same impression with the spinning thing and the bloop-ping-bloop-bloop noises. It reminded me of something from an old Pertwee-era show. And then there’s the subversive snark evident in comments about ITAR and “community standards”.

    I suggest we check this fellow for a second heart.

  5. Latitude (N-S), not longitude (E-W). It’s easy to get them reversed, but it’s an important distinction in technological history. Before the development of accurate timekeeping it was the East/West position on the Earth that sailors found impossible to measure. Your North-South is straightforward to figure out, at least in clear weather.

    Before I realized that this was a flub I had a moment of cognitive dissonance where I thought “OMG! This doohicky could be used for navigation in place of time keeping!”

  6. @ Kaj
    Oddly, I’m watching Doctor Who on my other screen. The First Doctor at the moment; the props looked less impressive than this actual device :)

    I’m not quite sure I understand the hack. Will have to read up later…

  7. Thank you for your use of math and control theory / models. It is about time that hackers up their game to that of academe.

    - Robot

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