DIY Project Adds a Joystick for Tilt-Controlled iPhone Games

Ever find yourself wishing you could play Tilt to Live [99¢ / Lite / HD] with an actual physical joystick instead of tilting, or better yet, that the game would just play itself? Well, with an Arduino, a few servo motors, a webcam, some machined pieces of metal, and a whole lot of spare time, anything is possible. Shane Wighton of Mechanically Inclined has been hard at work making this a reality.

The original post on the project was on December 20th, where Wighton explained:

There’s this game that I love to play on my phone. You play the game by tilting the phone to steer a space ship around, avoiding enemies, and picking up power-ups to take out the enemies. The game is very difficult – there can be hundreds of enemies on screen at any given time and their movement is often quite chaotic. So the question I’ve been asking myself lately is this – could I get a computer to play the game better than myself? Could I program a computer to detect patterns in the enemies, be strategic, and make the best moves using its superior reaction time and raw processing power? I don’t know but I would love to find out, so I’m going to find out.

Since then, substantial headway has been made resulting in the following video showing the whole contraption being controlled by a joystick:

The next step from here is mounting the webcam, and building the software that actually plays Tilt to Live with the device. I really can’t wait to see this game playing robot in action, and have no problem bowing down to our future high scoring robotic overlords. For more details on the project, check out Shane’s blog which we’re also going to be following along with to see just how much better the Tilt to Live robot is at playing the game than we are.