3D position estimation with a Wii-Remote camera



In this video, I am using a UMI, a sonar for altitude, and a wii-remote camera. The wii-remote camera is a very small camera that is included in the wii-remote.

The wii-remote camera gives directly the 2D coordinates of the IR spots in the image. It's interface is I2C. This is really a great sensor!


On my UAV, the wii-remote camera looks under.


I put IR LEDs on the floor.


I have put some lenses on this wii-remote camera, because the field of view was too narrow.

I still plan to make my drone navigate autonomously in an indoor environment, with several IR spots put on the floor.


For french-speeking people, you can see all the work that I have done on this web-site.


I will soon translate it in english.


Do not hesitate to ask me any question about this project.



Views: 7077

Comment by Leon on September 3, 2011 at 1:57pm

I forgot the scheme for better understanding:


Comment by Matt on September 3, 2011 at 5:14pm

This is similar technology used in motion capture systems. Congrats

Comment by Randy on September 3, 2011 at 5:18pm

great stuff.  Could you post more information (or the code) you used to communciated with the wii remote's camera?  Maybe you could also say what pins do what?  Is it 3.3v or 5v?


the camera must have a little cpu on the back which is doing the image processing...I wonder what it uses.


again, great stuff.  Looking at your website you've got a nice custom board there.

Comment by Sky Monkey on September 3, 2011 at 6:16pm

Very nice work!  I imagine many people here will want to learn more about the wii interface.


Comment by John Church on September 3, 2011 at 6:51pm

"I imagine many people here will want to learn more about the wii interface."

Oh, absolutely. Talk about precision landings!

Comment by Leon on September 3, 2011 at 10:10pm

> Matt said : "This is similar technology used in motion capture systems"

Yes, but this only uses ONE camera, and the camera is ONBOARD. All the computing power is inside the UAV. I really prefer this approach.


I am using a custom hardware, based on an "Embedded Master" (GHI Electronics). Not an "ardupilot".

The wii sensor can be interfaced quite easily. The interface is I2C (slave of course) and power supply is 3.3V. I think that the I2C interface is NOT 5V tolerant. It also requires a "clock" signal at 25Mhz, and a "reset signal".

The camera can detect up to 4 IR spots at the same time, and can refresh information at 200Hz!


I found information about this sensor on the folowing web sites:





I think that with those information, you probably could implement that on the "arducopter".




Comment by Matt on September 4, 2011 at 3:04pm

@ Leon, I understand its one camera. I like your approach of having all the processing done on the copter. I had an idea of using a wiimote camera to replicate motion capture systems but have not had enough time. Keep it up.  

Comment by Lars Johansson on September 5, 2011 at 11:59am
This could serve as a fundamental part of follow/point of interest I recon? Very nice work!
Comment by agmatthews on September 17, 2011 at 8:36pm

Hello Leon,

Can you tell us what lens you used to get the bigger field of view?

Is it just hot glued, with the WII infrared filter, on top of the camera?


Comment by Leon on September 19, 2011 at 9:51am
For the lenses, I tried several configurations. I use 2 lenses that come from mini camera lenses.

When you look throuh the lenses assembly (with your eye), the image must be clear and wider than naturally.

And yes, the 2 lenses are just fixed with hot glue!



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