Monday, April 2, 2007

WiigoBot can beat a video game.

Name of Model: WiigoBot
Created by: Will Gorman of
Found at:
EDIT: Complete Building Instructions are now available.

This robot can play a perfect game of "Wii Bowling" on Nintendo's Wii Entertainment System. For the uninitiated, the Wii is controlled through a "WiiMote" which is sensitive to movement. This allows for realistic and active video games. However, these new units have been controversial because we don't really need yet another video game system, much less one that has a remote that begs to be flung across the room.

Anyway, so there's this "Bowling" style game for that platform that is apparently rather easily beaten. This robot pushes a button, swings the wiimote, and releases the button - and that's all it takes. Put that in a loop and a timer, and voila - a perfect score, one strike at a time. The link above has more detailed documentation, but that's the gist of it. This robot is both beautifully simple and surprisingly effective. Then again, this isn't a real bowling game, so issues such as the ball's weight didn't have to be taken into account.

Since you need a "wiimote" to operate a Nintendo Wii, I won't count this as "cheating". Some books were used to help the 'bot from jumping (the momentum of the swing would make the 'bot jump if the books shown in the pictures and video weren't there), but that's probably just a time-saving measure (sure, they could have put together a bunch of LEGO just to weigh it down, but why?)

Here's some embedded video action for you. I recommend watching it here only. This 'bot has been getting a good deal of "viral" attention lately, and some of the comments on the YouTube page are offensive and/or obscene.

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