Rovio + Nintendo Wii Remote (WiiMote) Demonstration


Rovio Spy Cam RobotWatch video of your own home from anywhere in the world while the Rovio mobile spy robot patrols your home automatically for you while your away.  Change routes remotely with it’s easy to use graphical interface at any time. Orders are being taken now for this talented consumer robot!


This page explains what I did and used to make the WiiMote Controlled Demonstration Video.  This system allows you to control a WowWee robot remotely using a Nintendo Wii remote control over the Web, using Robodance, the free software program for advanced robot control.

NOTE: The version of Robodance that supports the WowWee Rovio robot has not been released yet.  If you want to be notified the instant the version of Robodance that has support for Rovio is released , or whenever I come across truly cool new robot and gadget gear, sign up for the Robodance mailing list.  I will be running a small pilot program some time this year for a pre-release version of the Rovio compatible Robodance version, but the main release is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2009.  If you have questions about the system please post them on the forum after registering (not by E-mail).  Also, technical questions on the software or about the required gear are only answered on on the forum.

Table Of Contents

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Demonstration Video


Watch the video where I show you how to control a WowWee Rovio mobile spy robot over the Web using a Nintendo Wii Remote control. The Nintendo Wii Remote talks to the PC running Robodance, and the PC tells Rovio which command to press based on what WiiMote button is pressed. The Rovio commands mapped to the WiiMote buttons can be changed at any time using Robodance’s WiiMap editor. You can create your own button assignments to suit your particular taste.

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Required Gear

To run Robodance in conjunction with the WowWee Rovio spy robot you will need A personal computer running Windows 2000 or better. If you want to control your Rovio over the Web with a Nintendo Wii Remote you will also need Bluetooth capability. If your desktop computer or laptop is not already Bluetooth capable, you will need to get an inexpensive Bluetooth dongle.

To use the Nintendo Wii Remote with Robodance you will need a Nintendo Wii Remote and a Bluetooth adapter (if your PC does not already have one).

Note: You do not need a Nintendo Wii to control Robodance with the Wii Remote, just the remote and a wireless Bluetooth adapter for your PC.

Here are some links to get the full Nintendo Wii system if you also want to have one of the best gaming consoles on earth:

Here are links for just the Nintendo Wii remote control (WiiMote):

Here is one possible Bluetooth adapter, it’s close to the one I use:




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Supporting Cast of Robots (seen in the video)

Here’s a list of the robots you saw during the video, in order of appearance:

  • WowWee Rovio - Amazing powerful mobile home surveillance robot with the ability to drive itself and patrol your home automatically.
  • Femisapien - WowWee’s first female robot ever. A truly exciting dancing robot that can hand out business cards, dance with you, be your little back-up singer and much more.
  • WowWee Alive Lion Cub - soft cuddly baby lion cub robot that blinks its eyes, makes cute sounds, and purrs when it sleeps..
  • Roboquad - A fantastic quirky little robot with advanced infrared scanning sensors.  (Note, all he did is sleep in the video under the Lion Cub but he really is a cool little robot.)
  • Pleo - Adorable realistic baby dinosaur that is the first believable artificial pet ever
  • Roboboa - Big, bad, snake robot that can track objects with its infrared sensors, acts as an intelligent helpful light, room guard, and more.
  • And many more robots to play with...

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WowWee Rovio Video Script

Below is the text of the video script. Note, the Robodance Rovio WiiMote interface does have the Nudge Mode talked about below. But that part of the video, and the part where I show Rovio’s web interface responding to the WiiMote button presses, was cut out because it was too lengthy.:

WowWee Rovio Controlled by Nintendo Wii Remote (WiiMote) - First Rovio Hack/Mod Ever

(Big notice that WiiMote control is not a stock feature of Rovio)

This is Rovio, WowWee's sleek new space age home and office surveillance robot.

(Show Rovio)

This is the Nintendo Wii Remote control, also known as the WiiMote, and is the revolutionary gaming console remote that has changed the world.

(Show WiiMote)

What could be cooler than the hottest robot of the year or the hottest remote control of the year? The two of them together. In this video I will show you how to use the WiiMote, with the help of a Bluetooth capable PC and a free software program called Robodance, to control my Rovio spy robot from anywhere in the world I have a web connection.  Note, you do not need a Nintendo Wii game console, just the WiiMote.

This is WowWee's web browser based interface for the Rovio. The interface also runs on many smart phones, laptops, and tablet PC's too, with varying differences in appearance, but this is how the Web Interface looks on a desktop PC.  This area is the robot navigation pad.  These four arrows move it forward backward, sideways to the left and sideways to the right and these two arrows turn the Rovio left and right. Clicking the Headlight icon turns Rovio's headlight on and off. Clicking the Camera icon takes a snapshot of Rovio's current view and sends it to your E-mail account. Clicking on the Home icon sends Rovio to his charging dock for recharging which I'll show you later. There are a lot more features to the interface which I'll show you in another video,s ince WowWee did such a terrific job with it, but now it's time for the good stuff. 

(Interleave demo)

This is the Nintendo Wii Remote. I have mapped the buttons to the Rovio's different movements like this.  The four points of the directional pad are mapped to Rovio's forward, backward, sideways left, and sideways right. The Plus button turns Rovio left and the Minus button turns him right. The Home button sends Rovio back to his charging dock. The 1 button takes a picture and the 2 button toggles Rovio's headlight on and off.

(Interleave demo)

This time I'll put the camera on the interface as I press the WiiMote buttons. Notice how they change appearance as if the mouse was clicking them instead of the WiiMote. This provides valuable visual feedback that lets you know everything is working properly.


Here's another very powerful feature I added to the WiiMote interface. I'm using the A button on the WiiMote as a SHIFT button which changes the Rovio actions triggered by the WiiMote button presses, just like the SHIFT button on your keyboard. Pressing the A button puts you in what I call NUDGE mode.


When you are trying to line up a person's face or perhaps an object with Rovio's camera remotely, the ability to make small reliable precise movements is critical. In the NUDGE MODE, almost all the buttons execute the same movement as in NORMAL MODE, except that the movements are a lot smaller. This makes lining up the camera much easier.  Note, you can always tell which mode you are in by looking at the Blue LED lights.  If they are blinking all together like this you are in NORMAL MODE:

(Show normal mode LEDs)

If the are blinking 2 at a time then you are in SHIFTED MODE:

(Show shifted mode LEDs)

The only difference in the button assignments is with the Home, 1, and 2 buttons.  In NUDGE MODE, they each put Rovio's camera in one of it's three different positions:

(Show camera positions).

Finally, if you don't like how the buttons are assigned you can change them to any Rovio operation you like using the WiiMote Map editor included with the program.  You can even assign one of the patrol routes you created for Rovio or a script that you made yourself that contains different Rovio operations. Check our web site for a lot more information on Rovio and Robodance.

Before I go I want to point out why I love Rovio so much.  Rovio is not a glorified remote control car like so many other robots are. Rovio is smart.  Damn smart. Rovio can drive itself thanks to its Northstar navigation system.  Before I go I just wanted to show you this autonomous sci-fi intelligence in action. 

Watch Rovio as I tell it to go home and recharge.  It's lifting its camera to the ceiling because it is looking for two invisible infrared beams that it uses to guide itself, just like the sailors of old did when they used the North Star in the night sky to find their way home.  See the small adjustments it is making to align itself with the charging dock?  And now, one final push to lock itself into place.  Success!  That intelligent driving is what make Rovio, well awesome, but on a practical note, ensures Rovio's usefulness in those places you don't have a good web connection.  Driving a remote vehicle under those circumstances can be impossible. But you don't care.  Rovio can drive itself!

Conclusion with title screens

Now you can control your Rovio robot from nearly anywhere in the world you have a web connection and a suitable web browser with your Nintendo Wii Remote control using Robodance, the free software program for advanced robot control. Please visit our web site for important security tips regarding Rovio and other cool tips and tricks. Visit to find out more about Robodance and sign up for our valuable newsletter while you're there.  Thanks for watching.



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