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Wii Hacked To Control Sword-Wielding Robot

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-part-of-that-title-is-not-freaking-sweet dept.

136

ianchaos writes "WiiBot is the pet project of two engineers who apparently have way too much cool hardware and time on their hands. These two guys figure that as long as you have a Kuka KR16 industrial robot to work with, why not see if you can control it with the Wii Remote? The result is a tennis-playing, sword-wielding mechanical arm that simultaneously captures 'weekend of nerdy fun' and 'accident waiting to happen' in a fun two minute video. The website even details the technical aspects of teaching a robot to parry."

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Obligatory. (5, Funny)

Mr_Rogerson (1059660) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879374)

I for one welcome our wii-capable overlords. ...first post ever, gimme a break right?

Re:Obligatory. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879386)

Unfortunately, you'll fit right in here at the post-1-million-user slashdot.

Re:Obligatory. (0, Offtopic)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880052)

Post 1 million user slashdot? The place started going to pot around about the hundred thousand user mark if you ask me.

(Cue 2- or 3-digit UIDer saying the same about the ten thousand user mark in 3, 2, 1...)

Re:Obligatory. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880506)

No one asked you.

Re:Obligatory. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879398)

how about.... no.

Re:Obligatory. (5, Insightful)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879442)

I for one welcome our monkey-with-modpoint overlords. :/

Also, welcome to a week ago [hackaday.com] , slashdot.

Can it control this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879376)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_ [goatse.cx] [goatse.cx]
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_______|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Looks like... (4, Funny)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879384)

An accident already happened, in the server room. Service Unavailable

Re:Looks like... (5, Informative)

wintersynth (915045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880100)

We actually have a second server at http://www.usmgarage.com/ [usmgarage.com] that will take you to a mirror of the page. If you're going to have your server beaten to death with HTTP requests, the Slashdot crowd is not such a bad way to go.

Re:Looks like... (2, Interesting)

jorgevillalobos (1044924) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881016)

Allow me to be the first to tell you that this is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long, long time. It's an amazing idea and one of those things that just make sense :).

Can't wait for the gun mode :P.

Mirror (5, Informative)

Fred the computer (607759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879392)

Re:Mirror (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879732)

YouTube Rules!!!

thank you for posting this link.

querneus@aol.com

Robotic Operating Buddy (5, Funny)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879410)

Its all fun and games until they become possessed by the angry ghost of R.O.B.

Re:Robotic Operating Buddy (1)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880486)

Its all fun and games until they become possessed by the angry ghost of R.O.B.

...or until someone gets their eye poked out...or their head lopped-off.

The perfect crime? (3, Interesting)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879422)

Murder by remote controlled robot, the perfect crime?

Re:The perfect crime? (2, Funny)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879458)

With a somewhat lower latency, perhaps. Swinging, waiting a second, and then hearing your victim say "AH! You got me!" just isn't very cool.

Re:The perfect crime? (5, Funny)

Melfina (872932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879598)

With a long enough lag and some planning, it could make it look like the bot did it all on it's own >_>... hmm

Re:The perfect crime? (5, Funny)

Cappy Red (576737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880866)

"With a long enough lag and some planning, it could make it look like the bot did it all on it's own >_>... hmm"

It wouldn't be the first time someone was killed by lag... or so they always claim.

Re:The perfect crime? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880020)

Just trick your victim to sleep next to the robot.

Now is the tricky part (not getting caught). Turn off the power. Put a Wii-remote along with the sword on your primary robot and set it up in the default position. Next put a second robot with a Wii-remote that controls the first but have it set up so that the arm is pointed up. Set it up so that the primary Wii on the first robot controls it. Now turn on the power. As the second robot centers it will direct the first robot to have a downward arc with the sword killing your victim. Then your secondary robot will follow a downward arc triggering your first robot to have another downward arc after resetting* which triggers your second robot to have another downward arc after resetting ad infinitum cutting your victim into tiny pieces. Now when the investigators try to trace your steps then will follow an infinite regression loop and explode (unless of course they figured out that you turned off the power and then turned it back on -or- that you tricked the victim to sleep next the the sword wielding robot--better do those steps by robots as well).

* Make sure your robots reset after ever 2 or 3 seconds

Re:The perfect crime? (1)

Quaz and Wally (1015357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879606)

Why did this get modded funny? A remote control anything with a weapon concerns me.

Re:The perfect crime? (4, Funny)

Mercedes308 (832423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879828)

I couldn't think of anything more fun to have.

Re:The perfect crime? (2, Funny)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880418)

Where can I buy one?

Re:The perfect crime? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880608)

I agree, although I'd rather face a remote controlled weapon than a fully autonomous weapon. With a remote, at least there's a human in the loop. There's a chance for compassion. There's a chance for slow reaction times. There's a chance for outsmarting your opponent. However, with a fully autonomous weapon, there's none of that.

Re:The perfect crime? (1)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881560)

If the full automaton moves like the remote controlled one, bring it on. Having done quite a lot of epee fencing in my past watching that robot was funny. It's lunge is so slow that an elderly sloth could dodge it and it's swing looks very powerless. Give me a philips head screw driver and a pair of wire cutters and the thing would be off before it could take it's second move.

Sad really, I've wanted a robot for practicing for a while, but that thing would be to easy to consistently beat.

RUR-tastic... (4, Funny)

L0stb0Y (108220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879424)

Loved the discussion of how the bot can easily decapitate.

Re:RUR-tastic... (5, Funny)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879694)

Certainly helps with those pesky highlanders.

Re:RUR-tastic... (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881084)

Loved the discussion of how the bot can easily decapitate.
I didn't notice till the end, but this is the same Aaron who did The Quintessential Sentry Gun [slashdot.org]

Here's an article about him from 2005 [bizjournals.com] which talks about the new company created in order to help him develop the sentry gun. Because the President of that new company is also the owner of a separate automation and robotics company, Aaron gets to play with lots of expensive gadgetry.

Military? (1, Insightful)

suyashs (645036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879426)

I fear the military applications of this...not like it wasn't possible before, but perhaps this might give some people ideas that would ultimately be used to kill people.

Re:Military? (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879440)

I fear the military applications of this...not like it wasn't possible before, but perhaps this might give some people ideas that would ultimately be used to kill people.

Yea... the military implications.. Well, if someone told you to go into an empty room and go very very near to a robot that's holding a sword, just, you know, don't do it.

Plus it's still easier and cheaper for An Actual Human to simply shoot you with a conventional gun, rather than use Wii-eqipped sword holding robots.

Re:Military? (1)

suyashs (645036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879444)

Yea and what about outfitting robots with guns and using suits filled with accelerometers and cameras to remotely control them?

Re:Military? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879456)

Uh this is old news buddy. Been there, done that, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan (at least the robots with guns part). The cool/new thing about this is using a wiimote.

Re:Military? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880836)

Uh this is old news buddy. Been there, done that, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan (at least the robots with guns part).
Which is to say, it *hasn't* been done.

The cool/new thing about this is using a wiimote.
Which the whole point. Kudos for managing to completely miss it, while being able, somehow, to also point it out.

Re:Military? Homer simpsons got it on the mark (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879760)

This would be way more effective IMHO

Or what? You'll release the dogs? Or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouth and when they bark they shoot bees at you?

Re:Military? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879820)

Then we find where the signal is comming from & send people with swords over there.
It's not like they're going to have any weapons or anything.

Re:Military? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880912)

Plus it's still easier and cheaper for An Actual Human to simply shoot you with a conventional gun, rather than use Wii-eqipped sword holding robots.

For now.

Re:Military? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881294)

Plus it's still easier and cheaper for An Actual Human to simply shoot you with a conventional gun, rather than use Wii-eqipped sword holding robots.

For now.


Was this supposed to sound spooky or TV-sci-fi-series cheesy?

Re:Military? (5, Funny)

binarybum (468664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879570)

you're right - let's slashdot the heck out of it so the military can't get to the website, 'cause as soon as some goofball in the military gets an idea about using "robots" as killing machines- whoa!

  Fortunately, this [navy.mil] hasn't [com.com] occurred [slashdot.org] to [decaturdaily.com] anyone [usatoday.com] but you.... yet.

Re:Military? (0, Offtopic)

suyashs (645036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879692)

Oh snaps!

Lame meme virus alert. (3, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879946)

I fear the military applications of this...not like it wasn't possible before, but perhaps this might give some people ideas that would ultimately be used to kill people.

I fear the /.-meme inducing virulence of this comment. Think about it--"I fear the military applications of this..." is the new obligatory "I, for one, welcome our new $ACTION overlords." And it can apply to virtually any slashdot story.

Example:

SCIENCE: MATERIAL TOUGHER THAN DIAMOND DEVELOPED

Obligatory...

I, for one, fear the military applications of this, not like it wasn't possible before, but perhaps this might give some people ideas that would ultimately be used to kill people.

Time to Update the Clue Boardgame (5, Funny)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879428)

The robot arm, in the server room, with the sword.

Re:Time to Update the Clue Boardgame (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879718)

The victim? Bandwidth.

Re:Time to Update the Clue Boardgame (2)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879754)

I wonder if there's a BOfH edition of Clue?

Re:Time to Update the Clue Boardgame (2, Informative)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879850)

Um, yes. It's actually played in one of the BOfH stories from.... 2005, I think. Maybe 2006.

Lav mic please! (-1, Offtopic)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879438)

That video could have been much better if they used a lav mic, all that ambient humming is unnecessary and irritating. Mics commonly built into camcorders tend to pick up that sort of garbage.

Re:Lav mic please! (2, Funny)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879472)

Hey, if they had money, the robot wouldn't have been orange, it would have been hummer yellow.

Re:Lav mic please! (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879834)

Orange is the new hummer yellow.

Heat (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879452)

Now that we can play tennis by remote control I think we should introduce the system for the 2008 Australian open. These people play under conditions when most people in this city are sitting under the aircon vents in office buildings and homes, debating wether or not to venture outside for a swim.

In the interests of fewer baked and dehydrated tennis players I think we should approve teleoperation (unless the roof is closed).

Re:Heat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879972)

YES I AGREE

Re:Heat (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880074)

You fool! Did you even think of the consequences of your suggestions? Really?

In one case we can have a hot and sweaty Maria Sharapova running across the tennis court wearing a sports bra and a short tennis skirt because of the heat and in the other case we can watch a couple of technicians in coveralls changing the oil of the KR16 industrial robot. I know we're all geeks here, but c'mon!

Re:Heat (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880468)

But Maria Sharapova can play NAKED in her hotelroom! and guess what, we will need a spycam so can be sure that she is acually playing!

don't like the software (1)

David_Shultz (750615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879470)

Don't like the software -it sucks that you have to finish a motion before the robot even begins that motion. It probably took a thousand takes before they managed to hit a tennis ball with the thing.

Too much cool hardware? (2, Funny)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879478)

The problem here is not too much cool hardware. That's never a problem. The problem is not enough sharing.

Neat Implications (5, Interesting)

slib (876774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879484)

This could be great for amateur robotics. Instead of painstakingly programming the subtle nuances of motion into a robotic arm/leg/whatever, perform the movement via WiiMote and record the motion. Although I'm sure people have been using similar methods for ages, using a Wii only requires an investment of 250 USD. Plus tax. Plus Zelda (purely for scientific purposes).

Re:Neat Implications (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879526)

I may be wrong here, but if I'm reading them correctly, they STILL had to manually program the movement sequences (using the robot's built-in 6D controller). Then they had to hand-code roughly analogous coordinates into the software. Finally, they calculated what the user was doing based on the accelerometers in the Wii-Mote, and did a fuzzy match on the 6 actual, 5 practical pre-coded motions, selecting the closest match and performing it.

This meant that the robot could do a handful of simple, pre-defined motions, and the Wii-Mote was simply used to select the closest available match. Not saying it isn't cool, but it's a far cry from programming the robot with a Wii-Mote. I'm not entirely sure those robots could even handle the amount of data it would take to real-time mirror a Wii-Mote. These machines are designed to do a handful of carefully pre-recorded motions (typically one), over, and over, and over, and over for years with near perfect accuracy. Not to mention the fact that there's really no direct way to translate the accelerometer data from a Wii-Mote into useful, sensical motions for a 3-jointed mechanical arm (or any robot, for that matter.) So even if the poor thing could somehow handle that much incoming data, figuring out what data to send it in the first place would be damn near impossible.

What they're doing is cool as hell, but they're not programming the robot with the Wii-Mote. They're controlling it, just like the headlines says. Just sayin'.

Re:Neat Implications (1)

nebosuke (1012041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879572)

Not to mention the fact that there's really no direct way to translate the accelerometer data from a Wii-Mote into useful, sensical motions for a 3-jointed mechanical arm (or any robot, for that matter.)

You could easily do it in realtime if you had a decent inverse kinematics engine translating Wiimote data to instructions for the robotic arm. There would be some limitations and additional requirements, of course. E.g., either use 2 wiimotes, one attached to your shoulder and one held in your hand, or your shoulder must remain in a relatively fixed position, and you have to calibrate with, at minimum, full extension and retraction values.

Re:Neat Implications (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879588)

I think elbow and hand are going to be better choices than shoulder and hand. The data would probably be better quality, but that might depend on the algorithm and the accelerometers in the Wiimote. It would be more data to smooth out the shoulder rotation.

Re:Neat Implications (2, Interesting)

bensch128 (563853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880000)

This meant that the robot could do a handful of simple, pre-defined motions, and the Wii-Mote was simply used to select the closest available match.

They could do better though.

They should record only very small motion paths (its accurate to 1/100 inch occuring TFA). Then have the robot play each piece when it receives it from the Wii-Remote. They'd have to record alot more motions but it would be smoother, more immediate, and more realistic in the end.

Cheers
Ben

Re:Neat Implications (2, Interesting)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880022)

From the wii games I've played, it seems like the wii isn't capable of anything more than execution of scripted motions either. It's fun to slash by making a slashing motion, but it would be a hell of a lot more fun if the precise motion made by the user appeared in the game. I can't help but feel that if my wii motions are scripted, I might as well have a keypad. This isn't off topic: these guys have come just as far as most of the wii game developers in harvesting data from the wiimote.

Re:Neat Implications (2, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880212)

"(using the robot's built-in 6D controller)"

I thought only Sony had that kind of technology!

Re:Neat Implications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880348)

What they're doing is cool as hell, but they're not programming the robot with the Wii-Mote. They're controlling it, just like the headlines says. Just sayin'.
IMHO the real technical marvel is overlooked-- the robotic arm.

Controlling is just converting a->b,
imagine developing a mechanical robotic arm that is this accurate, fast AND reliable.
Unbelievable, truly admirable.

Re:Neat Implications (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880948)

Unbelieveable? What the fuck do you think they replaced people with in car factories? You really need to go on some factory tours.

Re:Neat Implications (2, Informative)

RimfireShooter (749073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881370)

Real time mirror maybe not but you could get it to duplicate a motion w/o a pre-programmed path. A robot move usually consists of a X,Y,Z location within the operating envelope, a max speed, and whether the move is joint or linear (linear moves coordinates all axis to move along a straight line, a joint move allows the controller to select the optimum path & axis to reach the point)

You could in fact translate the Wii output to useful robot coordinates and velocities that are within the normal robot operating envelope & joint speeds. Simulations are routinely used to generate robot programs to reduce teaching time and a Wii translator program would essentially do the same thing. How to get those Wii translated programs into the robot controller and running them would have to be resolved. You may be able to write your entire program using indirect point references and then modify those dynamically.

BTW - that robot and all recent industrial robots that I am familiar with have 6+ axis of freedom and not 3. Count the servos - there are six.

Re:Neat Implications (1)

kd5ujz (640580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879548)

Well, from the video, they program each action into the robot, the wii remote just accesses the prerecorded movements.

Re:Neat Implications (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879592)

Previous work [cns.atr.jp] . But as you said, not for $250. I don't think the Wii is useful for this though, it's just a crude accelerometer. Good enough to distinguish between distinct gestures but not to record trajectories.

Re:Neat Implications (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880368)

"using a Wii only requires an investment of 250 USD. Plus tax. Plus Zelda (purely for scientific purposes)."

I doubt they'd even need that. There's an app called GlovePie that'll connect your Wii-remote to your PC via bluetooth. All you'd need is $40 for the controller and some R&D to decode the Bluetooth info.

Re:Neat Implications (1)

Economist (466965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880454)

And how are they going to play Zelda for scientific reasons then?

Next step (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879534)

I have absolutely no idea what sort of data has to be pushed via serial to the robot, but it seems like the natural next step would be software that translated the tuple of accelerations per axis from the wiimotes accelerometers into the appropriate serial data. This may, of course, be impossible with this robot, and you may only be able to specify a path to follow, after which the robot returns to its original position. However, if you can give the robot commands to move a certain direction relative to its current position, it seems like this would be possible. Depending on the sampling interval from the wiimote, it seems like more natural motion. To address the need/desire to stop the software from listening and the need/desire to have the robot, at some point, return to a standard position, button input could be used (i.e. A starts and stops the software from listening to the wiimote input, B tells the robot to reset to it's default position.

Again, none of this may be possible with this robot, but that would be a much more interesting hack. It might actually allow you to hit a ball that's already been thrown (and decapitate someone in real time).

-Lee

What happens next... (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879560)

After a fun day of playing "Swordsman" with the robot they accidentally hand it the Wii remote... The police find their decapitated bodies two days later and a cold oil trail leading out of the building. In the distance a faint voice is heard, "Hello. My designation is Inigo Montoya. You reprogrammed my previous model; prepare to die."

Are they really controlling it with the Wiimote? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879578)

Pay attention when there's 41 seconds to go. The guy is holding his arm up and the robot beats him to bringing it back down. The robot's arm is practically all the way down before he springs into action and brings his arm down. Looks fake as hell to me.

Re:Are they really controlling it with the Wiimote (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879824)

Actually, if you REALLY paid attention, you'd notice that regardless of whatever movements are being made, the robot arm always returns to a default position once the wiimote is no longer registering motion. After every single demonstrated swoop, the robot arm returns to the *exact* same position before they next demonstrated swoop.

Re:Are they really controlling it with the Wiimote (3, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879974)

It doesn't look fake, but it does look like they are simply using pre-recorded motions, just like almost all Wii games out there. So instead of the robot mirroring your motion, you have to to mirror a predefined motion to trigger a prerecorded motion in the robot. Looks cool, but it is pretty much useless for actually controlling the robot, since its really no different then pressing the "cool sword swing motion"-button.

The Wiimote can't give you accurate position data, so thats pretty much all you ever get.

Re:Are they really controlling it with the Wiimote (2, Interesting)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881216)

The Wiimote can't give you accurate position data, so thats pretty much all you ever get.

No, but the Wiimote can give you amazingly accurate ORIENTATION data, which is all you really need for this sort of application. I think the problem here is that these industrial robots aren't designed for real-time control, hence the "mimic" type actions.

Believe me, the Wiimote can very accurately, in real time, determine exactly which way it it pointing. It's a lot more complicated than "pressing a sword swing button". Just because Zelda was a Gamecube port, and therefore unable to really take advantage of the Wiimote, does not mean the controller is actually that limited in function.

Forget the sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879590)

The sword/Wii hack is neat, but after looking up the Kuka KR16 on the Kuka website, and looking around, I'd rather have this [kuka.com] than a fencing arm.

mFod down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17879620)

there are about 700 Sim7ilarly grisly

It's my ... ah ... sword, yeah. (4, Funny)

surfcow (169572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879632)

Soon, we can pornsurf with *both* hands.

Re:It's my ... ah ... sword, yeah. (1)

mincognito (839071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879750)

But you'd still have to shake your own wiimote.

Accelerometers are the gizmos of the moment! (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879662)

HDDs that shut-down while falling to the ground, remotes that can be used to handle a sword, play tennis, and boxe your opponent to KO... what else?!

So what happens... (2, Funny)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879686)

...if you give the remote to the robot?

Re:So what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880806)

Hmm must be a "in Soviet Russia" thing.
In Soviet Russia,

the robots wii on YOU
the robots hacks you to control a wii
the ropots uses a wii to control you

or something.

Entertainment Application (5, Interesting)

I'll Provide The War (1045190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879700)

They should get together with these guys and start charging:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-747250219 7006303244 [google.com]

Re:Entertainment Application (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879728)

Oh my god that's the funniest thing I've ever seen!

Re:Entertainment Application (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880988)

By the looks of it, if they went commercial they're the ones who would be charged.

Please Help (0, Offtopic)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879746)

Could someone please make Windows go away?
It hurts my head.

Princess bride version (4, Funny)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879868)

My name is Inigo Roboto. You degaussed my father. Prepare to die.

Doesn't even need the console (3, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17879926)

The wiimote is a bluetooth device and there are lots of people working on driver software for various operating systems.

You can start at wiili [wiili.org] .

Investment cost is about £40 for the mote plus about £10 for the bluetooth dongle.

What WHat WHAT? accelerometers by the dozen (4, Interesting)

mrnick (108356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880010)

In my graduate studies (computer science Texas A&M U @ Commerce,TX) I have been working on a mini robotic submarine that uses accelerometers to calculate acceleration (of course), speed, and location. We also have a similar arm that was donated to the Physics department but I have not had a chance to play with it yet.

Anyways, my question is why use wii controllers? You could order a dozen accelerometers from DigiKey for far far less than the price of the wii controller, assuming you can purchase them without buying a complete wii system. Not only would it be cheaper but you could place the accelerometers on your arm, hand, shoulder, etc in locations that most mimic the articulating parts of the actual robotic arm.

Only thing I can guess is that by using the wii controller, and it being so new, that you get that whole 3lit3 haxor effect because wii and it's use of accelerometers is new for game controllers. Looks like it worked, getting their site slashdotted and all.

On a side note I did use a wireless xbox (not 360) controller to control the mini robotic submarine. Did you know that those controllers are USB, Microsoft just used a non standard port? It was my intention to have events in the sub send data back that would control the force feedback in the controller but I have not been able to figure out how to send data to the gamepad to activate that function. If anyone has suggestions please let me know (sshscp@gmail.com). I am using the XBCD driver on a windows XP laptop running a program written in G (Labview 8.2.0).

With this stuff you have to watch what you call things. If something is completely remote controlled then you can't technically call it a robot. At minimum a robot has to be able to act autonomously or perform pre-programed tasks. Currently the sub has a pre-programed task - when battery levels reach a preset point control ballasts and pumps to quickly return to the surface and then go into power consumption mode. It sounds like this arm is a robot since the controller activates a series of pre-programmed movements. But, if it were completely controlled by the accelerometers then it would be a remote controlled arm and not a robot.

Future plans for the sub are to include autonomous mapping of it's environment. As for the arm I was thinking of working on it so that it could play chess, possibly against live opponents over the web (with a webcam). Do you think people would want to play it?

Anyways good job on the arm guys! I can't get enough of these micro controller applications. I got the bug quick after having code that I wrote actually do something in the real world for the first time. Maybe I'll get something slashdotted someday ;)

Nick Powers

Re:What WHat WHAT? accelerometers by the dozen (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880076)

It might be because the Wii remote operates at a standard Bluetooth interface and that the packet data from the remote is easy to process.

Spend the hours it would take to build your own remote, debugging the accelerometers, creating a wireless protocol, then integrating it somehow into a laptop. Maybe, instead of this, spend $40 bucks on a remote and another $20 on a Bluetooth module, no soldering required.

Still, with the time saved, I am sure they can go father than this, but I have a feeling that the built in robot arm software doesn't allow you to have "live" control. It is an industrial bot after all.

The black knight... (-1, Offtopic)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880038)

(with apologies to Monty Python)

ARTHUR: You fight with the strength of many men, Sir Knight. I am Arthur, King of the Britons. I seek the finest and the bravest knights in the land to join me in my court at Camelot. You have proved yourself worthy. Will you join me?

[pause]

ARTHUR: You make me sad. So be it. Come, Patsy.
BLACK KNIGHT (in monotone robot voice): None shall pass.
ARTHUR: What?
BLACK KNIGHT: None shall pass.
ARTHUR: I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight, but I must cross this bridge.
BLACK KNIGHT: Then you shall die.
ARTHUR: I command you, as King of the Britons, to stand aside!
BLACK KNIGHT: I move for no man.
ARTHUR: So be it!
ARTHUR and BLACK KNIGHT: Aaah!, hiyaah!, etc.
        [ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's left arm off]
ARTHUR: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.
BLACK KNIGHT: 'Tis but a scratch.
ARTHUR: A scratch? Your arm's off!
BLACK KNIGHT: No, it isn't.
ARTHUR: Well, what's that, then?
BLACK KNIGHT: I've had worse.
ARTHUR: You liar!
BLACK KNIGHT: Come on, you pansy!

        [clang]
        Huyah!
        [clang]
        Hiyaah!
        [clang]
        Aaaaaaaah!
        [ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's right arm off]

ARTHUR: Victory is mine!
        [kneeling]
        We thank Thee Lord, that in Thy mer--
BLACK KNIGHT: Hah!
        [kick]
        Come on, then.
ARTHUR: What?
BLACK KNIGHT: Have at you!
        [kick]
ARTHUR: Eh. You are indeed brave, Sir Knight, but the fight is mine.
BLACK KNIGHT: Oh, had enough, eh?
ARTHUR: Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left.
BLACK KNIGHT: Yes, I have.
ARTHUR: Look!
BLACK KNIGHT: Just a surface wound.
        [kick]

etc.

Shamelessly ripped off from here: http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-04.htm [mwscomp.com]

Re:The black knight... (1)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881206)

Offtopic, huh? Some moderators have no sense of humour at all. :-)

For those moderators that didn't get the intent of the joke, the story is about a sword-wielding robot. So imagine said sword-wielding robot playing the role of the Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail...

I can see the headlines now. (3, Funny)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880064)

Sword impales 42" LCD HDTV, public demands stronger wrist straps.

I for one... (1)

Legodude522 (847797) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880152)

Already saw it a week ago on Engadget.

Re:I for one... (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880378)

"Already saw it a week ago on Engadget."

That's really fascinating. BTW, have you ever looked into how Slashdot gets its stories? I'll give you a hint, they don't have any reporters.

You Fai4l It (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880424)

communit7 at

Do you really need a wii for this? (1)

spicydragonz (837027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880812)

It could just as easily been done with a keyboard.
S - perform Serve
F - forward swing
B - backhand swing

The are not really using the wiiMote to change the robot position.

This just in... (1)

pi8you (710993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17880816)

Sony President Ken Kutaragi mauled to death by Wii-controlled Aibo

Wii blender controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17880834)

If this robot had been controlled via a similar custom built device would it have been less impressive? Would not have made Slashdot!

I suppose they will put up anything on slashdot if you use your Wii to control it.

Use a Wii to control your household pets, that would be impressive!

Business Model (2, Funny)

jaimegarcia (988720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17881228)

1. Get an industrial robot 2. Dance around it with the Wii Remote 3. ???? 4. Profit!
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