Using the WiiMote for Engagement in First Year Engineering – Tomas Daniels

Introduction to Computer Engineering is a course that has about 200 students a year.

It is important to build problem solving and make links to other courses.

The WiiMote

  • can measure +/- G forces @ about 50hz, when it works.
  • has an embedded system that parses data before sending
  • bluetooth
  • has a 1024×768 IR camera that finds the 4 hottest IR sources in the room.
  • cheap!

Wiiwrap is a windows cmd tool that outputs comma seperated values that can be used by another program. For example: “wiiwrap /A | lab6”

This allows the student to write “lab6” to do something interesting with the data.

This group does not teach physics, but programming. For example:

  • Determine which end it up (if statements)
  • Determine which axis is changing
  • Wiidrop Lab: Put the wiimote in a foam football and throw it, measuring all the cool physics

From the earlier course that didn’t use the Wiimote, they saw a 10-29% increase in motivation based on student surveys.

In the future they are playing with a add-on that adds (2) 2-D gyros.

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