Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tracking multiple laser pointers @ 200Hz using the Wii remote

A couple of videos (vid1 and vid2) from sha433 demonstrate that if you are willing to crack open your Wii remote (you'll need a tri-wing screw driver) and take out the IR filter, the camera will track visible points of light, including laser pointers. That's pretty neat. Additionally, it has also been recently discovered by a few people that if you read the data directly off the camera chip using I2C, you can get 200 Hz tracking (vs 100Hz that you get over Bluetooth). It looks like there might be a latency hit, though, depending on how you get the data into your computer.

So, if you are willing to get a little down and dirty with the hardware, you can pull out quite a bit more capability! Good job Sha!


Rob said...

Do they make infrared laser pointers?
If they do, you could use one without removing the filter.
You could set make a device with two parallel laser pointers, one always on red light, and one press-button activated IR light. The visible light would let you see where on the screen you are, the ir would click.
Then you could use the whiteboard functions with screens too large to reach the tops, or screens place to high to reach. Cinemas, conference halls, the IMAX! I think it would be most useful in lecture halls.

AEA said...

Just an idea here... could the wii remote be used to do scanning of 3D objects? maybe by tracking the movement of the point over the survace or by projecting a grid over the object? that would be a low-cost 3d scanner

Greg said...


I was thinking about that too, and I realized that you could use a mirror setup like that in a DVD player to improve the accuracy. It probably wouldn't be perfect, but I bet you could get them closer that way than placing them side-by-side. IMAX would be so freaking awesome.

aea- yes you can do 3D tracking with the wiimote, check it out here:
I think the resolution might suffer a bit though, but I don't really know. It might also be a good idea to make an automated scanner that follows a grid; I don't think a projected grid would work since it can only track four points.

AEA said...

great, thanks greg!

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Tin said...

I'm thinking something along the lines of Rob... A red laser on all the time and a button to "click" with the IR laser.

Do DVD drive laser modules sit under one lens? And can you power both at once?

dave said...

elloe sir... can you please give me the exat instructions and all the materials needed to make this stuff... i really want to make this one and use for personal purposes.. thanks a lot and more power...

here's my email add:

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You could always use a cheap green laser pointer. Green laser pointers use an IR pump diode. They pump ir light into a special crystal to get the green light. Higher quality lasers will have an ir filter in line after the crystal but the cheaper chinese green pointers do not have an IR filter. You both a visible beam and a nice IR dot in a single compact package.

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Justin -

Thanks, I'll look into that

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Anwar said...

Hello Sir,

Can i have the detailed instruction for building this project and also can you give me the software which shows the cordinates of the laser point on the screen

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