WiiMote Control Packbot

A WiiMote controlled iRobot Packbot has been hacked together by a pair of imaginative engineers. They found that current versions of Packbot, controlled by an "joypad" style interface, has the operator spending 90% of their attention on driving the robot - rather than keeping an eye on the data gathered by the robot.

So, David Bruemmer and Douglas Few, engineers at the US Department of Energy's Idaho National Lab in Idaho Falls, have modified a Packbot so it can be controlled with the Wii remote controller. People who have used the Wiimote controlled Packbot say that it's more intuitive - movements of the hand translate directly into movements of the robot.

The pair also intend to replace heavy laptops used to display video with something a bit smaller - and iPhone.

This way, soldiers will be able to concentrate on the mission, rather than on the tech needed to carry it out.

I couldn't find a picture of the hacked Packbot, but take a look at this video. Throwing a robot through a plate glass window? All in a day's work for Packbot.


(Packbot is indestructible)

What else can you control with a Wii remote? Glad you asked:

Via Wii and iPhone to help military control freaks. Thanks to Moira for the tip and references for this one.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/4/2008)

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