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Wii IR camera as standalone sensor

Using the Wii Remote IR camera directly with an Arduino
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Wii-IR-Camera-schem.pdf11.63 KB
Wii-IR-Camera-board.pdf11.3 KB
wii_remote_ir_sensor_sample.pde2.5 KB

The Wii Remote became a very intersting tool for hacking and other uses where it not has been mentioned for. After the first hacks appears in the internet a lot of people are doing great stuff with it.

This tip&walkthrough is about  using the IR camera from the Wii Remote as a standalone sensor. It is based on hack of a japanese guy named kako. There also exists a Make article

This sensor is great for tracking infrared sources. It can track upto 4 sources independently and give out the coordinates and the strength ob each tracked object. The IR camera has an I2C interface which can be easy accessed by a microcontroller. Here an Arduino board has been used. 

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Wii Remote disassembling:

To get the IR camera out of the Wii Remote, the Wiimote must be disassembled. A Tri-Wing screw driver has been used for this task. The IR camera is on the front of the board. To get the IR sensor out a hot air gun is been usefull.  

This walkthrough only works for an original Wii Remote. There exists some Wii Remote clones, which are cheaper than the original one but they have different sensors with unknown pinout, so be warned!

Schematic:

The schematic slightly differs from Kako's aproach, it has been taken form the CC2 ATM18 project. A quartz oscillator has been used. A frequency bettween 20..25MHz will work. Unfortunately the sensr is a 3.3V device. Some level conversion must be done before connecting it to a 5V Arduino board. The sensor gets it power source from 2 diodes in series with a 5V from the arduino board which give roughly 3.6V. 2 pullup resistors on the I2C pins limits the voltage down to 3.6.

Schematic and a board layout is atached to this article.

 

Partlist:

  • Wii Remote IR Camera (from a original Wii Remote, not a clone!!)
  • 24Mhz quartz oscillator (or 25MHz, but not a resonator!)
  • 2x diode 1N4148 or equivalent
  • 2x elecrolytic capacitor 10uF
  • 1x ceramic capacitor 100nF
  • 2x resistor 2.2kOhm
  • 1x resistor 22kOhm
  • perf board 60 x 25 mm
  • pin bar 1x4
  • pin bar 2x4
  • bar jack 2x4

 

Software:

The Arduino control software is also based on Kako's sources. It simply initialise the IR camera sensor and sends the readed blob information to a PC: The sourcecode has been slightly modified to work with the PC software.

The PC software is also taken from the CC2 ATM18 project and can be downloaded here.

An Arduino sketch is attached to this article. At the moment I am working on a processing sketch for graphical represantation of the Wii IR Camera output.

 

 

To be continued...

 

 

 

 

 

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I can't be of much help regarding the Wiimote camera comms issue, but when I read your post I immediately was reminded of this project by Gareth.
If you haven't seen it already go check it out, you might be able to find some useful info to help with your project there.

Thanks for all the info. I was able to follow in your footsteps using an mbed MCU (ARM Cortex M3) and wrote a Java app to track the blobs since I couldn't find source for the ATM18 project blob track exe.  The mbed is a 3.3v device and runs fast enough to generate a 20MHz clock signal so that simplified the interfacing considerably.  Anyway, thanks again, couldn't have done it without this fantastic post and example code! --Michael

Wow, that's great. The mbed board looks interesting, too. 20MHz PWM, not bad, so no extra oscillator is needed.

Yes I know, there is no source available for the ATM18 blob tracker. I have started a GUI program with Processing, but it is not finished yet.

 

Would love to see what you come up with. Here is my shot at it. It's all java/swing-based so "should" be somewhat cross-platform. http://code.google.com/p/wii-cam-blobtrack/

Here is my progress so far for with the Wii IR Camera and Processing. Sorry, this is my my first program in Processing.

Hmm... I may be missing something but the directory looks empty? :)  This is the second or third time I've run across Processing in use... I guess I better add it to the very long list of things to explore :)

You must open the subfolders to see the sketches ;-). Here for example the Processing sketch folder

 

How would I remove the wiimote's IR filter?

Thanks

 

To remove the IR filter is a very simple task. Just remove the dark piece of plastic form the Wiimote housing.

 

Thanks to RobotFreak for sending me the translated parts list:

 

  • Wii Remote IR Camera (from a original Wii Remote, not a clone!!)
  • 24Mhz quartz oscillator (or 25MHz, but not a resonator!)
  • 2x diode 1N4148 or equivalent
  • 2x elecrolytic capacitor 10uF
  • 1x ceramic capacitor 100nF
  • 2x resistor 2.2kOhm
  • 1x resistor 22kOhm