Wii Balance board

[Matt Cutts], head developer for google’s anti spam team, describes how to attach a Wii balance board to a linux computer. He even shows how to make a GUI to show the input. The entire project is done in about 200 lines of python.The process assumes that you can already make a bluetooth connection to a WiiMote, but if you can’t, he’s got instructions for that too.

[via hackawii]

Wii MotionPlus + Arduino


[knuckles904] was able to use the new Wii MotionPlus with an Arduino. Nintendo has released the WM+ in order to detect the motion of the controller better. The Wiimote only detects acceleration, whereas the WM+ detects rotation along 3 axes. The Arduino communicates with it over I2C, the same protocol that is used with the Nunchuk. To connect the two devices, he used jumper wires, but breakout boards are also available. He was able to create some example code with help from wiibrew.org. When paired with a Nunchuk, which contains a 3-axis accelerometer, you can have a 6 degrees-of-freedom IMU for under $40, perfect for controlling your robots or logging data.

[via adafruit]

Magic wands for Disney


[NRP] sent us a few of his projects. The most notable of the bunch was a school project funded by Disney. They were to make some kind of interactive entertainment for people waiting in line for rides. They decided on a wand style interface. Each wand has an accelerometer, an IR LED for tracking, an XBee unit, and a few buttons for interaction. They wrote some custom games and a multi person white board to test it all out.  You can see those in action, along with a space themed pong game in the video after the break. Even though this was funded by Disney, you can still find all the source code and schematics, available for free.

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Wiitar, a build log


[Ozan] sent in this build log from when he made a Wiitar. As you can probably guess from the title, it’s a guitar combined with a wiimote. He has completely gutted the Wiimote and installed the internals in the guitar. Some toggle switches were mounted to control the button states on the Wiimote.  This is a pretty useful setup as you can use the Wiimote data to control effects on the guitar. We’ve actually seen a very similar setup before. [Ozan] has included the build log, as well as a simple glovepie script and a sample effect patch.

Wiimote controlled Hexapods

The Phoenix is a very impressive hexapod robot platform. It has 18 servos which gives each leg 3 degrees of freedom and a BasicAtom Pro 28 for the brains. Interestingly, the design started as a personal project of a forum member on the Lynxmotion forums. It turned out so well, it has become an actual product. We’ve seen videos of these before and they always have some pretty fluid and organic seeming motion. They seem almost alive in this configuration. The only thing that might make them scarier would be to add Lou Vega’s decapitated head, well maybe that plus some really nice face tracking. In the video above, you can see where someone paired one up with a Wiimote for a pretty intuitive control scheme. Yeah, we realize the video is nearly a year old, how did we miss this one? You can see a video of it walking around after the break, and another controlled by a ps2 controller.

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Augmented FPS gaming


[MikeFez] sent in this info about his augmented FPS set ups. He started this project back with an original XBox in   2006. He wanted a more immersive way of interacting with his games. Pointing out that gaming visuals and interactivity have come leaps and bounds while the controllers themselves have basically just added a few buttons, he explains his goals. He wanted to have to move his body to move his character and possibly physically aim. The original project, for the XBox, was successful in that he used a floor pad to control his character. Since then, the Wii has come out and he has moved to the PC as his main platform. As expected, he is now using the Wiimote as the aiming device.

Pseudo 3D chat


[Chris Harrison] and [Scott E. Hudson] have built a novel system for faking a 3D video chat session. Their implementation separates the image of the chat participant from the background. They then dynamically reposition the video based on the movement of the viewers head. Their using the OpenCV library to do facial recognition (just like the Laughing Man demo). The 3D effect is very similar to what you see in [Johnny Lee]’s Wiimote headtracking. A video of the pseudo 3D chat is embedded below.

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