WiiLoc: Appliance Localization in Large Office Spaces

The WiiLoc Sensor Model The WiiLoc System

Keywords: Indoor Localization, Appliances, Wii Remote Control, Image Processing, Building Automation

Motivation: Nowadays, large office buildings consist of thousands of various electrical components, such as switches, light sources, window blinds, smoke detectors, thermometers, etc. In a rather traditional setup, most of these components are directly connected to each other. A switch, for example, switches on or off the light source(s) to which it is directly connected. This approach, however, does not accommodate for changes in the configuration very well. A few new walls, for example, might request a new switch-light-source configuration. But changes in the wire configuration can induce high costs, particularly in large rooms with high ceilings. Because of this flexibility problems, research on building automation abandons the traditional, direct wiring. Rather, it employs an appropriate infrastructure, which consists of one or more central servers as well as a communication network. The approach requires the localization of these devices. In order to prevent this task from routine errors, this project explores one semi-automatic indoor localization approach, which is based on intelligent devices, two Wii remote controls, and an electrical compass.

Goals: This project explores to which extent a localization system based on the Wii Remote Control can be used for a typical building automation problem. The resulting subgoals are
(1) building a system that charges at most 200 Euros,
(2) development of a low-cost device interface that broadcasts its ID, and
(3) designing a procedure that requires as little manual work as possible.

Approaches: This project explores a combination of the following approaches:
(1) using stereo vision for locating a device with respect to the localization system,
(2) using a electronic compass and a 3d-acceleration sensor for the determination of the system’s orientation
(3) using device interfaces that communicate their IDs by means of an infrared LED and a custom coding scheme.

Results: The first prototype that employs only standard components achieves
(1) a localization error of about 1-3% for distances of up to 3m and
(2) an improved range of operation of up to 5m by using better LEDs.

Research Team: Ralf Warmuth, Stefan Goldmann, and Ralf Salomon


Selected Publications: