Wii Fit Balance Board controls robot


More Wii Fit Balance Board hacks keep rolling in from Europe. We’re not sure we agree with [Juan Gonzales]‘s assertion that the Wii Fit Balance board is the best way to control robots, but we can’t deny how fun it looks. [Gonzales] managed to control a robot of his own design with the balance board, making it turn when he leans to the sides and moving forward and back when he leans in those directions.

The robot, which he calls SkyBot, is fairly impressive in its own right, built from a PIC microcontroller and featuring various infrared sensors and 6 contact sensors. The robot’s OS can be controlled from Windows, OS X, or Linux, but for this project, they used Debian. The balance board interfaces with a laptop connected to SkyBot; custom software (tar.gz file) to make this work was written in python, and is available on [Gonzales]‘s robot wiki, as well as instructions on how to build a SkyBot. It is in Spanish, however, so fire up Google Translate and get to work.

[via Balance Board Blog]

Wii Fit World of Warcraft


By now you’ve probably seen the video of two researchers from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) navigating through maps on Google Earth by using the Wii Fit Balance Board. They’ve gone even further now by using the board to navigate World of Warcraft. It’s obvious that the board is usable with any 3D environment. The hack is entirely software based, as the board is completely unmodified. It relays data to a laptop via Bluetooth, where the pressure data in converted to directional instructions by their custom app written in C#. No notes on the project are available on DFKI’s site, but we’re betting they’ll release the software to the public once all the kinks are worked out.

[via Balance Board Blog]

Best of the rest

Here are some more stories from today that we found interesting:

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