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Modern video game controllers for the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 use MEMS sensors for motion sensing.  However, these controllers sense only basic and simplified motions and many users are not satisfied with them and desire more realism.  The purpose of this project is to create a USB Human Interface Device (HID) motion sensing controller using low-cost MEMS inertial sensors.  The primary goal is to show that MEMS inertial sensors are capable of supplying sufficient position data to provide a complex interactive experience. 

The USB HID controller interfaces with a personal computer and its programs by emulating a USB gamepad.  The HID handheld device translates user movements into on-screen actions to provide a realistic and lifelike interactive platform for PC games and other virtual environments.   This project shows that MEMS inertial sensors are capable of providing accurate position data suitable for a complex interactive experience.  However, it also shows that the abundance of software layers inherent to the USB protocol can cause interpretation problems when sending the position to the PC.  In order to fully utilize the inertial sensors’ position data, the software must be written to accept absolute position data from the controller.

Students: Weston Taylor and Chris Budzynski

Advisor: Dr. Aleksander Malinowski

Project in action

Here is a video of Chris doing a demo of the project.


The MetaMersion Immersive Gamming System is a product that we came across during our initial research. It exemplifies the motion sensing capabilities we are attempting to achieve with our MEMS devices and an 8-bit microcontroller. Video below:

The MetaMersion website ( is down and this video was created in 2006.  The current state of this product is unknown.