Virtual Segway tours using the Wii Balance Board

Take a tour of anywhere on earth without leaving your home. This virtual Segway tour uses the Wii Fit Balance Board and Google Earth to let the rider control a virtual tour by leaning in the direction they want to travel. It’s the product of a hackathon at SVI Hackspace, a new hackerspace in Stanford’s Huang Engineering Center.

The project was undertaken by four people who had just met for the first time that night. Seven hours later, they had a working system that combines a huge number of software packages; OS X, Osculator, Node.js, Socket.io, the Google Earth API, Monster Milk Truck, and Google 3D Warehouse. Most of those packages are used to get the board talking to the computer and then interpreting the data. Monster Milk Truck – which we had never heard of – is a plugin that lets you drive through Google Earth environments using button presses and arrows (which are simulated by the balance board data translations).

This is a nice complement to some of the other balance board hacks we’ve seen, like the one used to control World of Warcraft. Don’t forget to peek at the video after the break.

Comments

  1. dcj2 says:

    Nice idea, but its not exactly the most illustrative video, is it? Hey guys, lookit this video! Its a guy standing in front of a laptop. Isn’t that KEWL!?!?!?

  2. Pete says:

    Seems logical in the progression of making things easier… Walking tours, Segway tours, virtual Segway tours, virtual virtual Segway tours (with use of hand gestures).

    But at least its a novel application of the Balance Board :)

  3. blue carbuncle says:

    I’ve heard these are all the rage at e-picnics and telecamping spots.

    If only my balance were better :(

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