Tracking Motion With A Nintendo Wiimote

654 words - 3 pages

Kinematics is a subdivision of classical mechanics concerned with the behaviour of an object in motion. High school physics students study kinematics in depth, and in doing so require a system capable of recording and breaking down an object’s motion so that it can be studied using physical principles. The current solution, the ticker tape timer, is inefficient and cumbersome. The device is capable of recording positional data in one dimension only, and it requires tedious amounts of effort to analyze the paper output. The ideal solution to this problem is a digital device that will capture motion and eliminate the busywork portion of the analysis, thereby making kinematics investigations more efficient, effective and reducing the capacity for human error in experimentation.
Currently, there are many devices in production capable of digitally recording and analyzing motion. These devices are used in commercial and university laboratories as well as in film and multimedia production facilities. However, such systems are far too costly and complex for the high school classroom. A simple cost effective solution is needed. My solution to this problem consists of a Nintendo Wiimote and a computer running a specialized software program.
The Wiimote is an inexpensive device available at electronics retailers countrywide. The device contains quite a bit of hardware, however this project will make use of the infrared camera housed in the front of the device. Normally, the infrared camera tracks the device’s motion by relaying the coordinates of stationary infrared light sources back to the Nintendo Wii system. However, projects designed by human-computer interface researcher Johnny Chung Lee have shown that the Wiimote device can accurately track the coordinates of moving infrared light sources when the device is kept stationary. Using Bluetooth technology, this position data can be relayed to the laboratory computer for storage and analysis by the specialized software program. By attaching an infrared light source, such as a lightweight LED, to a...

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