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Eye Mario - Controlling Nintendo with Eye Movement

NI Employee (retired)

In Eye Mario, the latest creation by Waterloo Labs, players can control a Nintendo game using only eye movement. The system, created using NI Multisim, Single-Board RIO and LabVIEW replaces the traditional Nintendo controller with a system that interprets eye movement as a means for controlling motion within Nintendo.

The system relies initially on the polarization of the human eye; depending on the direction of eye movement, small positive or negative voltages are generated. These voltages are then used to determine the direction of eye movement as a means to control motion.

The problem that the engineers at Waterloo Labs faced was that these voltage signals are extremely small. They needed a way to amplify (and then filter) these signals captured using the electrodes before they reached the Single-Board RIO (sbRIO), an OEM-ready board containing a real-time processor, Xilinx FPGA and 8 digital I/O lines, for further signal processing. To do this, the engineers at Waterloo Labs created a Human-to-Nintendo interface (a custom daughter card creation for the sbRIO) using NI Multisim to design and simulate the filter and amplifier circuitry. The design was then transferred to Ultiboard where the layout and routing was completed using the sbRIO Daughter Board Reference Design as their starting template, which includes pre-defined connectors and layouts to speed up the design process. You can read more about the Eye Mario system here.

This first video describes the system and demonstrates how it works. Very cool!

Click here to view the Video on Youtube

This next video describes the creation of the custom daughter card, which snaps on top of the sbRIO, allowing the filtering and amplification of the signals acquired by the electrodes. In addition to the sbRIO Daughter Board Reference Designs, you will also find sbRIO (as well as cRIO) connectors in the Multisim 11 database.

Click here to view the video on YouTube

To learn more about how the system communicates with Nintendo, check out the article Nintendo Communication in the "eyeMario" Video. Additionally, Waterloo Labs has posted their LabVIEW source code online for those of you who want to try it out for yourselves!

Learn more about Multisim

Learn more about LabVIEW

Learn more about Single-Board RIO (sbRIO)

Natasha Baker
R&D Engineer
National Instruments

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