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 Post subject: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:52 pm 
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I was recently browsing instuctables when saw a mouse made out of a wii nunchuck. This got me thinking, would it possible to make a 3d mouse for cad modeling out of a wii nunchuck? I'm not that great a coding, but I was thinking that it would function as a regular mouse normally with C and Z as left and right clicks respectively and the joy stick to control the mouse. Then you could do something like tap both buttons to change it to a 3d grip mode where it uses the accelerometers. Any help/tips/advice would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I would like to also make it use the same hardware as in the instructable.


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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:13 pm 
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that would be horrible for puzzle design O.O You need a mouse seriously, because aiming at the screen would just be a pain :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Not using the method this person used. This method involves using the joystick to control the mouse. The Wii's tracking system uses the sensor bar in order to track the Wii remotes. You would have to use that same system but have the input go into the computer, then have the computer process the motions and locations of the remote, then have your own software specialized for the tool in order to get a job like that done. None of these steps is necesarily easy nor can it be done simply via USB.

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:25 pm 
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I'm think the nunchuck is independent of the sensor bar and in fact its position in space isn't nor can be tracked, rather its orientation in relation to the xyz axis is recorded via the accelerometers. For these reasons you wouldn't actually have to point at the screen. I also agree that the programing would be difficult, that's why I posted here for help. Keep the ideas coming though :)


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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:29 pm 
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Have you played Wii Sports: Wrestling? The Nun-Chuck CAN in fact be tracked. Also, I said Remote each time. I don't think the Nun-Chuck alone can do this, though it is possible if connected to the Remote.

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:36 pm 
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What I'm looking for is a way to interpret the accelerometer data via the teensy board similarly to how this robot uses an arduino to interpret the data. I believe the teensy 2.0 board can be used in a similar way, but instead of using the data to control servos it would be used to control a mouse pointer.


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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:39 am 
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The WiiMote uses bluetooth. This would be fairly straight forward, actually, if someone's done something similar already.

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:48 pm 
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theVDude wrote:
The WiiMote uses bluetooth. This would be fairly straight forward, actually, if someone's done something similar already.

I've seen a touch screen using a wiimote but not a 3d mouse type of thing. That would be very interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:09 pm 
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I assume you are talking about mapping the up-down, left-right, forward-backward coordinates of real space into the x,y,z coordinates of virtual space.

The Wii Nunchuck is not the tool you need. The accelerometer tracks acceleration in 3 dimensions relative to the nunchuck. Gravity pulls constantly at 9.8m/s^2, so it always pulls down on the accelerometer. This allows the Nunchuck to measure tilt when it's not moving. When you move your arm, it generates a force on the Nunchuck, which is fine for detecting punching motions and so forth.

Acceleration measures a change in velocity. Velocity measures a change in position.

What you need is position data, something that the Nunchuck cannot tell you. You could be travelling in a plane going 600 MPH at cruizing altitude on a calm day, but relative to the passengers (and the Nunchuck), if the velocity is constant, then it is as if the plane was sitting still. While it is possible to obtain velocity data and acceleration data by tracking position over time (ex. a GPS unit has no accelerometers in it, but it can calculate speed vy tracking changes in position), the reverse of this process is not possible with accelerometers alone. Mathmatically, it can be done with calculus by integrating the values, but there is always an unknown constant present. The Nunchuck certainly is not that accurate, and will accumulate large errors which, if not compensated, will cause the position to deviate rather quickly, so you would need a normalization algorithm to dampen the error and slowly creep towards the zero point.

In short, the math involved would be highly complex and your position data would be pretty bad and inaccurate. This is a game controller, not really a device that demands NASA-like precision.

A Wiimote in combination with the sensor bar would be a far better setup for tracking position; the tilt information on the Wiimote combined with the relative positions of the two IR emitters within the camera, could produce a reasonably accurate position tracking system. The sensor bar is a fixed point of reference for the Wiimote, which normalizes the position data, and the finer detailed movements could be tracked by the accelerometer data. But, as one poster has already mentioned, you'll need an electrical interface for the sensor bar, a bluetooth adapter with custom firmware to read input data from the Wiimote, and you'll have to code some very sophisticated equations from scratch. I assume that game developers simply use the resources provided by Nintendo's proprietary SDK to convert this raw feedback data into useful numerical values, but you're on your own in that regard.

Not to mention that using a room-sized area to translate 3-dimentional mouse movements in a cad program would be highly impractical. Hollywood movie producers place special position-tracking sensors all over an actor's body to record movements for CGI characters. They did that with Golem in LOTR, but such a setup requires an extensive framework of emmiters. You could shrink that technology down to a stylus-like device within a small bounding box, but it would likely cost thousands of dollars. And I really don't believe that drawing would be very fluid in three-space without some type of tacktile feedback to "feel the canvase", like you would have with a 2D touchpad, or virtually any physical art medium.

Maybe someday they will release an affordable waccum-like drawing apparatus that traces positions of a stylus/wand in three dimensions, but it will likely be a long time before the technology is ready for it, and then you would still need driver and software support to use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:23 pm 
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thomasbomb wrote:
theVDude wrote:
The WiiMote uses bluetooth. This would be fairly straight forward, actually, if someone's done something similar already.

I've seen a touch screen using a wiimote but not a 3d mouse type of thing. That would be very interesting.

Sorry for the double post; but watching that youtube video gave me an idea:

Mount an infrared LED on the end of a wand, as shown in the video, then aim three wiimotes (two Wiimotes would probably work, but three would be far more robust and accurate), mounted in orthographic xyz directions, then assemble a cubic frame in the work space. Light infrared LEDs in sequence for each of the eight corners; use this data to calibrate the corners of the bounding box for your "virtual 3d pad". Remove the calibration box and use the IR wand inside this area to draw in 3D. :solved:

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:15 pm 
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Thanks for all the post everyone, I've resigned myself to the fact that it would be difficult to use it for 3d modeling. Now I want to know if there is a way to make it use the accelerometer in the nunchuck for a scroll function by use of the teensy board. I really also dont see a need for a blutooth interface. The nunchuck plugs into the wiimote which then sends the data to the console via blutooth, but since the nunchick is modified to plug directly into the computer via usb there should be no need for blutooth.


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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Beans wrote:
Thanks for all the post everyone, I've resigned myself...


Biological engineer? :D

Beans wrote:
I really also dont see a need for a blutooth interface.


We were talking about using the wiimote without the nunchuck, but maybe you could somehow use both.

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 Post subject: Re: Wii NunChuck Idea
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:19 pm 
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I'm not sure if tilt control is a good idea for a mouse, as the "dead zone" would be almost non-existant and the mouse would be difficult to hold still and continually roll around onscreen. Two nunchucks will give you dual analog controll, one of these nunchuck thumbsticks will be mapped to up-down-left-right, and for the other nunchuck, pushing the thumbstick vertically will move foreward and backward. However, since you claim to have already created a wired communication interface with the nunchuck, the Classic controller pro has dual analog sticks, as well as L/R analog flippers and a hoard of other buttons. Of corse, if you can build an appropriate HID driver for a PS3 controller (you don't need any additional hardware besides a USB port/cable), you get dual analogs plus analog L/R, a whole boatload of digital buttons, and accelerometer function all in one device. Good luck attempting to write a driver for Vista 64, LOL!

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