Wii Controller Hack

(December 27 2006)

Got a wii-remote for Christmas, decided to hack it under linux with python and make it control my favorite mp3 player xmms at the time. Video was published on various blogs like Gizmundo etc.

The nintendo WII was hot back then. Everyone wanted one. But for my Christmas I only got the controller because all of them we're sold out. The rage was all about the sensors in that controller and how it did motion sensing. Nowadays you can get these gyro chips seperately and use them for various cool projects like building drones etc. One example is the MPU6050.

However back then this was not the case. And I only had the remote with a lot of cool sensors in it. So I researched a bit around on the web and got it working on my linux laptop. From there on wrote some python code to make it control my XMMS mp3 player.

And figured making the player skip to a new song when you shake the wii remote would be a cool feature and it would allow me to show off reading the gyro values was working too. It only took me a few hours and it was also thanks to the open source already published that did most of the hard work in getting data from the wii-mote by connecting it over bluetooth on linux. I did however need to do some extra hacks to get read outs working from the gyro and also ofcourse wire it up so it could control xmms media player itself.

Incidently using the wii controller to do cool things happened a lot around that period. My ultimate favorites of all the wii controller hacking done were the ones done by Jonny Lee, featured later on TED as well: