A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

Various personal interests and public info, gesture, signs, language, social robotics, healthcare, innovation, music, publications, etc.

Search results: "Wii" Page 1 of 2

Wiimote + 15 Tonnes ‘Robot’ Arm

Lately, I have been studying the teleoperation of UGVs. Many people have tried various forms of gestural interaction to ‘teleoperate’ robots or robotic arms. Here is a nice, larger-than-life example where they control a robotic arm with a Wiimote.

15 tonnes of steel, 200 bar of hydraulic pressure and a control system written in Python. Oh, and a Wiimote.

To be quite honest, I do not think that using a Wiimote for teleoperation is a good idea at all. The only immediate advantage of using a Wiimote instead of using a more elaborate manual controller may well be a better ‘walk-up-and-use’ intuitiveness, although one still has to learn how the Wiimote ‘commands’ are mapped to the robotic arm’s motions, much as one needs to learn this with any other controller. A disadvantage may lie in the limited precision and the limited number of commands that the Wiimote offers. I think it all boils down to a basic ergonomical design of a manual controller for teleoperation. Operators must be able to (learn to) map the controllers options (degrees of freedom and commands) to the robot’s options (degrees of freedom and functions). This will likely involve a lot of prototyping and user testing to see what works best, but there is also quite a large literature on this topic (some of which originates from my current workplace at TNO, for example by Van Erp en by De Vries).

Wii-Gesture Control for Robots

Here is a guy called roschler demonstrating how to (learn to) control an i-Sobot, the world’s smallest humanoid robot, with Wii-gestures instead of using a complicated remote control. Because the robot’s routines are mostly gestures you can create commands for them through imitation or iconicity. Probably, actions will often have to be simplified, since I do not expect people will want to make an actual somersault to tell the robot to do that. Also, for certain actions or scripts I imagine that the gestures will become arbitrary and not really intuitive, but probably still easier to use than the alternative RC.

Robot control, another good niche for gesture recognition?

i-SOBOT by ThinkGeek: World’s Smallest Fully Articulated Humanoid Robot
Buy an i-SOBOT at Amazon for about $250
Watch a fight: i-SOBOT vs. Godzilla
More about Robodance, a.k.a. Robosapiens Dance Machine, which can also be used to control WowWee Robots.

Wii gestures for WWii game

Medal of Honour is a game where you play a soldier in World War II. EA created a special version for the Nintendo Wii (and the Nunchuk) and provided some animations of how you gesture to play.
Tutorial on jumping and crouching
How to jump and crouch. (source)

Here are tutorials on turning around, throwing a grenade, reloading your gun, using your bajonet, and the best one of the lot: steering your parachute.

Update June 11, 2007: Here is an impression that is a bit more realistic:

Wii Mainstreams Gesture Recognition

Play sports games virtually but with the real movements


The Nintendo Wii controller is starting to hit the big spotlights. Interaction designers, like Matt MacQueen, are noticing the power they can bring to gaming experience. He has written a nice piece reflecting on Wii experiences sofar and projecting trends for the future.

See the huge line for the Nintendo Wii demonstrations at the E3 2006 conference

Update: here is a nice Dutch review of Wii gaming experience.

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Will Wii Win?

The Wii is the new Nintendo gaming console that you could call a gesture interface. It’s a motion sensitive remote control with his second hand sidekick Nunchuk. Gamers appear to like the idea very much, see for example the response to this demo-video of Wii gesture-drumming. Meanwhile, Bill Gates plays it down, blowing smoke up the Xbox chimney, which features real GestureTek. It’s one up in the campaign to get gamers off of their butts.

Which golden oldie is serving which hip youngster at E3? (Buffalo News)

1. Introduction: Gesture-controlled combat robot

A brief introduction to the gesture remote controlled combat robot.
It is composed of a 2.4GHz RF MCU and a G-Sensor remote control (Wii – like)
designed by Fontaltech

Milford Go-Robo Femisapiens

Milford School pupils were inspired by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ to design costumes for Femisapiens and then program dance routines for them using Go-Robo. Facilities supplied by eLC South Nottingham.

Will this be the future of girlie robots? Femisapien is definitely a cute robot from Wowwee with its endearing kisses (here). And with a little software and some creativity you can use Femisapien as your Barbie dressup doll 🙂

The used Go-Robo software appears to be quite similar to the Robodance software.

Read first on: Robots Dreams.

Sixense TrueMotion Presentation at NVISION08 – Highlights

Highlights of the Sixense TrueMotion presentation at NVISION08. See the full length videos for more information.

Hmm, it looks quite good, but is it essentially different from the Nintendo Wii? However finegrained the input or robust the sensor mechanisms, there will always remain a matching process between the gestures (the physical actions) and your virtual actions in the game. And that is something you need to learn for every game. In fact, this learning process is a large part of the gaming experience, in my opinion. So, I am not sure that this is actually better than the Wii. But, if they can actually capitalise on their ‘far more accurate gesture-control system’ and create a good gaming and learning experience with it (improving your ‘golf gesture’ over the course of time, for example) then I believe it will succeed.

Sixense shows off its magnet-based gesture control system for games

Jeff Bellinghausen of Sixense shows a magnet-based gesture control system . It works for the personal computer and lets you have a far more accurate gesture-control system in a game compared to the Nintendo Wii

MechRC versus i-Sobot

Here is a decent introduction of a robot that was new to me, the MechRC (home).

Crave TV (link): MechRC dancing robot.

Bringing the robotic apocalypse one step closer, inventor Dr Jim Wyatt shows off the MechRC, a dancing, fighting, football-playing robot simple enough to be programmed by a child and the bane of many a cat’s life.

I think the general idea of MechRC is quite similar to that of Tomy’s i-Sobot. Both are small humanoids that have a big range of preprogrammed movements and programming options through the PC.

i-Sobot introduction in 2007

There is quite a price difference between the two little ones. i-Sobot is currently available on Amazon for $79, which is ridiculously little, while the MechRC costs £399.00 to preorder (here). But then again, i-Sobot started around $300 as well in 2007 (prices were lowered dramatically just before christmas this year). And a Dutch or Flemish version of i-Sobot (here) still costs €378,99. It is likely that the MechRC will also drop in price after the first year or so, making them more comparable.

As far as functionality goes, at first glance, the major difference is that the MechRC lacks voice control, and the i-Sobot can’t be programmed on your PC (just macro’s of predefined actions). For the i-Sobot solutions have been made for programming, for example Robodance, which also have a great featured article about controlling the robot with a Wii remote. It is a rather geeky solution however that requires good computer skills (according to the Robodance creator), while it appears that the GUI to program MechRC is quite usable, again at first glance.

Neither of the robots as anything remotely resembling gesture recognition, but they can of course produce gestures. Both have a set of preprogrammed gestures that you can create macros with. Yet, the MechRC seems to offer enough direct control over the movements that it should be possible to program your own gestures. Time-consuming perhaps and at best you would end up with an expanded repertoire of gestures to make macros with, but it might be interesting for some gesture fanatics like myself 🙂

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