Let's Make Robots!

Wii Camera BreakOuts

I just finished and sent off some break out boards to support a wiicamera. These boards use the camera after it has been removed from the wiimote and communicate via i2c NOT the standard bluetooth connection of the wiimote. Included on the board is the necessary reset circuit and 25mhz crystal. There are a total of (4) .9" mounting holes to match 2-56 hardware. 2 of these holes match the hole pattern of the servo horn of the "LMR standard" blue servo. Pull-up resistors are also on board for the i2c lines. The board requires and has a 5-pin header for:

  • Gnd
  • 5v
  • 3.3v
  • SDA
  • SCL

This batch will be 5 units, 2 of which have already been claimed. Please contact me if you are interested one of the last 3 or have any questions. The boards will come populated and tested. $30.

I am sorry, these are terrible screen grabs but please look closely, the boards have quite a snazzy outline, indeed.

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I've no need for one of these anytime soon, but it's nice to know it might be available when the time comes (4 or 5 projects down the road).

These guys are 2, maybe 3 weeks out. By contacting me, you are being "put on the list" not actually ordering (yet).

2 more remaining in this batch.

A wiicamera seperatley with a breakout board... and only $30!

Compared to Wal*Mart who is selling a wiimote for $40... with no board... and you have to get out the camera yourself.

I know who has the better deal for sure.

I'd like one, but how do I pay? and does 30$ include postage?


As stated above, the boards will not be ready for a couple weeks. Currently, I am taking "pre-orders" --you can reserve one for yourself. There are 2 left in this batch. Just send me an email so I can contact you when they are ready if you are interested. All payments will be through paypal only. Shipping is included (regular mail, lower 48 only). If you want something faster (priority for example) would be just a few bucks more.

Down to the very last one for this batch, folks.

And that is all she wrote for this batch. All gone.

I would like to get this batch finished and sorta "out the door" before I start doing the Ebay rounds for more remotes but I would like to know if there is continued interest.

The WiiMote (Wii video game remote) in its regular state, contains a tiny camera in its nose. Just below or above your television, a "sensor bar" is placed. This name is very much incorrect in the fact that the "sensor bar" contains IR leds, not sensors. These leds are a given distance apart. The camera inside the wiimote can detect and note the position of up to 4 points of IR light so with this sensor bar (and a little trig) the wiimote can calcuate its position in relation to the tv.

This camera actually communicates with the wiimote via an i2c signal which can be replicated by many microcontrollers. In short, the camera can be removed, wired to talk to a robot brain and used to sense points of IR. This fuction is fairly amazing. Examples:

Lets say you have your wii camera up and running and you shine an IR light (or near IR light at it). The wiicamera will output data to the microcontroller showing the X and Y position (within it's field of view) the size of that point of light, and the brightness. If a second IR source is introduced, more data will be sent including the above information. This continues with the 3rd and 4th point of light. This data can be used for all kinds of wonderful things.

  • With 2 IR leds at a given distance apart, a robot can calculate its distance from, and position relation to, these points of light. Fantastic for docking.
  • With the camera on a pan/tilt servo set-up, the robot can very easily track an IR target. I have used this for "follow the leader" and "hide-and-go-seek" with the IR "beacon" being moved by both a human and also by another robot.
  • Many folks have used this system to track an IR pen or stylus as a mouse and/or to interact with video projections etc. --Gareth most famously used this system in his Picaxxo robot.
  • Because fire produces IR light, these can be used to detect say, candles etc. for any of the "blow it out" robots
  • And of course... The most super-awesome use of these camera is to reproduce laser radar systems.

What I, following the lead of others, have done is to place the wiicamera and a (near IR) red laser on a mount. The camera sits a given distance from the laser, and the laser is angled slightly to the center. Both the given distance between the two items, and the angle at which they sit are constants and known before progamming. The laser is shooting a diagonal line across the field of view of the camera, and as an object crosses this line, a bright dot will appear on that object. Because of this diagonal line, as the object moves closer or further away, the camera will "see" this dot moving left and right within it's field of view. Because the distance between the camera and the laser, as well as the angles, is known, we can use a little trig. to calculate the distance of the dot. Badda boom, badda bing you got yourself laser radar. Now, the professional laser radar systems have ranges of 10 meters or more and are far more accurate, but they also cost about $1000. My personal set-up gives me around 3 meters with (for a hobbyist robot) pretty amazing accuracy all for less than $50.


The breakout board above, is simply a way to use these cameras in a handy way. Their pins are a very fine pitch and hard to solder, and they require a few other doo-dads to make them work. A 25mhz clock signal for example. The breakout board simple takes care of all these requirements so you can just plug it in and go.

Have connected all wires according to your description and use the code from your website. But the sensor does not send the expected data. Is there anything I'm missing here?


Have connected the Wii Breakout Board to 5v and 3.3v on the Arduino. Have connected the SCL to A5 and the SDA to A4.

Uploaded the code that I got from here.

The byte result = ircam.read(); returns 15, no matter what I hold in front of the camera. Have put a candle in front and an IR LED. The result is 15 and the x and y coordinates are 0. My observation is that the 15 is returned when the Wii is not connected to the Arduino.

But now... for one moment... I saw the expected data. But I can not reproduce it again.


Have also tried a 10k pull-up resistor between 3.3v and SDA. No changes due to that.

Have changed all cables. Have changed the Arduino. No differences.

Here is the output:

BLOB1 detected. X:0 Y:0 Size:0
BLOB2 detected. X:0 Y:0 Size:0
BLOB3 detected. X:0 Y:0 Size:0
BLOB4 detected. X:0 Y:0 Size:0


This is the expected output:

BLOB1 detected. X:533 Y:750 Size:3


Here is the wiring:

Edit: When I wait 30seconds and leave the system untouched the result sometines goes to 0. I then try the candle again but nothing happens. Pull-up resistor. No change.