The iPad is finally out – one feature that might caught your attention is the built-in accelerometer and the ability to control a game by tilting the device. For more than a year I was working on a similar idea for the PC Notebook market based on my original  motion gamepad project that would  allow playing a game by tilting the laptop/netbook. Now that iPad is out I hope that the notebook/netbook manufactures will catch up by incorporating MEMS sensor into their devices. Here is the result of my prototype , it is a USB attached device, but ideally I think this should be embedded into the laptop.


About the project:

For the hardware I used the Acc_Gyro sensor and a thumb-size PIC platform UsbThumb built around the inexpensive PIC18F14K50 chip that provides all the necessary USB connectivity and ADC inputs.

This setup is actually hardware compatible with my original Motion Gamepad design so all the software utilities and firmware will work on the Acc_Gyro + UsbThumb combination that is available as a kit under the name of UsbThumbImu . The Acc_Gyro fits on top of UsbThumb and this is not a coincidence since UsbThumb was designed as microcontroller helper for the Acc_Gyro with the idea of being able to provide the USB/Serial/SPI/I2C interface, as well as making use of the built-in 10bit ADC module of the PIC18F14K50.



In the pictures above headers are used to connect the device, so the end result is a little taller  than you could get if you'd simply solder the two boards together. Both devices have been designed for people that would like to extend  or experiment with the existing solution so there is a second row of connectors on the UsbThumb that can be used to connect buttons or other devices to the project. 


All that's it for now – hope you liked the project. It was really easy to built having the two important components UsbThumb and Acc_Gyro. You'll find more info on individual components on my website as well as  on the GadgetGangster site with whom I partnered to provide kits for anyone interested. If you don't find the necessary information, or you have any any suggestions, ideas or questions – as always feel free to drop me a line with in the comment area below.