Scientists measure water evaporation with Wiimote

Tuesday, 4 January 2011 10:58 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Wired’s reporting that scientists have turned to using Wiimotes to record water evaporation rates, with the controller chopping costs by precluding the need to buy “pressure transducers”.

We have no idea what a pressure transducer actually is, but it’s obviously really expensive. Wiimotes, on the other hand, aren’t.

According to the piece, “The methodology is simple enough. The Wiimote tracks the four brightest points in a near infrared image. Ordinarily, these four points will be the four Wii IR LEDs used to determine where the Wiimote is pointing.

“However, by affixing IR reflectors to a float in the water pan, the researchers were able to track the water level.”

We bet you were thinking about waves, right? No problem for the plucky Wiimote. Even with “substantial” wave activity, scientists were able to track evaporation rates to within 1mm.

Well worth a read, that.