WiiPoser Is a Very Interesting Test Rig for Wii Nunchuk Controllers

Davide Gironi built this unique test frame to evaluate Nunchuk controllers and their code.

Cameron Coward
5 months agoGaming / Robotics / Sensors

Even 13 years later, and after the release of two additional consoles, the Wii remains Nintendo’s best-selling home video game console of all time. It has sold more than 101 million units, compared to the second-best-selling NES/Famicom which sold about 62 million units. Those stellar sales figures were the result of three major factors: the low price, the excellent catalog of games, and the innovative and approachable controllers. The Wiimote and Nunchuk attachment allowed for motion control that hadn’t been seen before, and hackers still take advantage of that hardware for their projects. Davide Gironi built this unique test frame to evaluate Nunchuk controllers and their code.

Gironi designed WiiPoser specifically to test out the functionality of Nunchuk controllers. Really, it’s meant to test some of the libraries available to work with Nunchuk controllers. It’s possible to connect a Wiimote or Nunchuk controller to your computer, and use them like any other input device. Some people use them for their intended purpose as video game controllers, while others use them for more advanced applications such as controlling robots. Whatever your use case, you probably want a way to see how well the drivers are actually working, which is what WiiPoser provides.

The hardware setup for WiiPoser is actually very simple. There is a 5x5 matrix of LEDs embedded in the board, and a small laser pointer mounted on an arm that extends from the top of the board. The laser pointer is attached to two servos that allow it to pan and tilt, so the laser dot can move across the board’s surface. An ATmega8 microcontroller takes care of illuminating the LEDs and controlling the servo motors. The Nunchuk controller’s accelerometer is used to direct the movement of the laser point, the buttons control the LED modes, and the joystick selects the LED that is to be turned either on or off. WiiPoser may only have one very specific purpose, but it seems to have been designed perfectly for that job.

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