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.
[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.
[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.
The Segwii is a self balancing robot. Yes, another one, only this one can be controlled via WiiMote. The Segwii can function in stand alone mode, which offers only the ability to balance, or it can be tethered. When tethered via USB to the laptop, it can be remotely controlled using the WiiMote through processing. Sadly, the video above doesn’t show any WiiMote action. Lets hope they continue the work to incorporate a direct bluetooth connection to the bot.
This one seems to be pretty sturdy, though he does mention that temperature changes can throw off the internal gyroscope. This one seems to be similar to the Arduway in terms of how smoothly it keeps balance. The miniature balancing robot has them both beat for pure goofyness though.
Not content with Nintendo’s current portable video game offerings, fifteen year old hardware hacker [Xteaphn] (pronounced “Steven”) has come up with a series of hardware modifications to make a battery-operated Wii console. The hacked console features a folding laptop-like screen, which apparently includes the IR emitters necessary to make the Wiimote operate properly, as well as a set of tiny stereo speakers. To show how tiny the modified console is, [Xteaphn] provides size comparisons with thirteen- and fifteen-inch laptops as well as with a classic Nintendo Game Boy. The only potential hindrance to its long-term durability, as best as we can tell from the video, is that the battery pack and its associated connecting wires hang crudely off the back of the console like a sort of electric colostomy bag.
Check out [Xteaphn]’s YouTube video after the break.
The Neuros set top box, called Link, is a disc-less computer running Ubuntu. Neuros encourages hacking and finding new ways to use the unit, as can be seen in their latest article explaining how to get a Wiimote to work with it. The results are pretty slick, as you can see in the video above. We can’t imagine trying to use the on screen keyboard with it, but it seems to work nice for basic navigation.
[thecapacity] sent us his iobridge project where he controls a coil gun with a Wiimote. To make the coil gun, he took apart an office golf putter that had a ball return. The mechanism to return the ball is a metal cylinder that is moved magnetically. He simply replaced the cylinder with a smaller diameter piece of metal to create the gun. His computer monitors the Wiimote axis changes and sends them to the ioBridge. The unit could be located anywhere, but without a camera on it, he’ll have a hard time aiming. There’s a video of it working after the break.