Welcome To TreadGaming!
Making Exercising Fun
I will use this list to see the interest so I know when to do the next larger batch of hardware.

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Currently, the current firmware on it is simulating a Xbox360 controller. If you plug the hardware into a computer using a micro USB cable, you should be able to see it showing up as a Xbox 360 controller. In Windows go to game controllers in Control Panel, in Linux you can use jstest-gtk.


When connecting the hardware, all LEDS will blink once shortly, and after that the green LED will blink for a few seconds. This indicates trying to establish a connection to both the Nunchucks. If both already are connected, you will hardly ever see the green LED blink. After a few seconds the green LED will stop and depending on how it went the red LED will indicate how many were not successfully connected to. The green LED will be constantly lit when ready.

The red LED will now not blink, indicating 2 Nunchucks successfully connected, or blink once or twice quickly, indicating how many that are not connected. If you aren't using Nunchucks, you can safely ignore this blinking.

When the sensor senses a surface moving, the yellow LED will lit up.


Misc button is currently set to re-initialize the Wii Nunchucks. So, press this button to let the hardware try to establish a connection to the Wii Nunchucks. Usefull if the hardware drops the connection for some reason, or you insert the Nunchucks when device is on. The Nunchucks aren't hot pluggable, and the software will not do anything if you connect the Nunchucks when it's on. You have to activly press this button to establish new connection to the Nunchucks. The software/hardware will however notice if you unplugg the Nunchucks, and this will be indicated by the red LED.

The Firmware button is acting as a normal button, but when it's pressed during hardware bootup, it will put the hardware in a special "update firmware" mode.

To update the firmware, if the device is on, press and hold both the Reset and Firmware buttons down, release the reset button. You can now release the Firmware button.
If the device is off, you can just hold the Firmware button while connecting it with a USB cable to make it enter firmware update mode. Basically, the Firmware button needs to be pressed when booting up the hardware so it will enter a special mode where the firmware is updateable.

No LEDS or anything should blink or turn on when you are in this "update firmware" mode.

You can now use dfu-programmer to send a firmware .hex file over to the hardware.


To "calibrate" the device, which really means teaching the device what speed it should see as a maximum speed. Meaning, a speed where it will push the corresponding analog stick to the max on a normal controller.

To do this, press the Firmware button. The red LED should now blink for 10 seconds. If the sensor see no surface move during this time, nothing will happen. If it sees surface move, it will remember the maximum speed during these 10 seconds. After the 10 seconds, calibration is done and it will now save a value on the device.

So, anytime it now sees the surface move, it will interpolate the speed with this saved value and map the speed accordingly. Also note that the value is saved so it will be there even if you unplug the device. No need to recalibrate unless you want to remap the speed again.

PCB Layout:



DFU Programmer (used to flash firmware)


dfu-programmer atxmega32a4u erase
dfu-programmer atxmega32a4u flash --debug 1 TreadGaming_Gamepad.hex
dfu-programmer atxmega32a4u reset


Comming soon!


Why TreadGaming?

Easy to Use

Plug the device in, calibrate within the game, and start playing! It's that easy.


Instead of just using your excercise tool on it's own, you can now have fun doing it. The exercise becomes second, fun comes first!

Price and Size

It's small and affordable for what it can do.

The Hardware

Here you can see the PCB and the 3D Printed enclosure (white enclosure printed in ABS, black in PLA). Some specifications:

  • ATXmega32A4U 8-bit AVR
    • 32Mhz CPU (which is overclockable)
    • 32Kb Flash Memory
    • 4K SRAM
    • 1KB EEPROM
  • Slots for 2 Wii Nunchucks
  • ADNS 9500/9800 Laser Sensor
  • 4 LEDs (Red, Green, Blue and Yellow)
  • 3 Buttons (Flash Firmware, Reset and a Misc button)
  • Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ chip module
  • Mini USB

Wii Nunchucks Support

You can use up to 2 Wii Nunchucks at the same time!

Additional Usages

Most of the pins are exposed so you can do your own thing with the hardware. Just like this 3D printed mouse I did as an example. Support for it even in the firmware. You can find the files over at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:198467. Totally free for you to download, modify and use however you like.

nRF24 Module

The hardware contains a RF module to communicate over the air! It's meant to be used for a possible future where other devices can communicate using this chip! This way there will be other controllers besides the Wii Nunchucks, and you don't have the cables.

Possible future functionality

In cryptology, pure randomization is highly important. And, using the ADNS sensor for random noise data input is very usefull to make the hardware like a encryption/decryption key, which is something I think would be cool to do as well. This will be a software update only, so it will not cost anything extra nor any new hardware will be needed.


Here are some demo videos showing the TreadGaming board in action.

Dying Light

Running around in Dying Light with only the TreadGaming PCB and 2 Wii Nunchucks using the new functionality with holding the 'C' button.

Dead Island: Riptide

Running around in Dead Island with only the TreadGaming PCB and 2 Wii Nunchucks.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Demoing gameplay in Skyrim again only using the TreadGaming PCB and 2 Wii Nunchucks.


How this came to be.

  • 2009?

    The idea is born

    I came to think of making exercising more fun.

  • February 2009

    The Blog is Born

    I started http://treadgaming.blogspot.com because I thought it would be fun to have history of the project.

  • 2010


    Protoyping first in software, and then in hardware when I reliazed software weren't good enough.

  • 2011

    PCB v1.0

    My first ever PCB created. Made in KiCad. And, it also worked straight out of box!

  • 2011

    3D Printer

    I needed a way to place my PCB in a proper way, as the there are strict specifications for the laser sensor's distance to the surface. So, I thought, I can build a 3D printer and create my own enclosure for it! That way I have more control over the distance, and it's fun making your own designs.

  • 2013

    Improved PCB Created

    I noticed how important it would be to have an out-of-box ready-to-use experience when I tested with v1 of the board. So, I thought of different ways, and came up with the idea to include Wii Nunchuck support, as they are cheap and easy to work with. And this new PCB was born! Now, double the speed, 2 Wii Nunchuck slots and it has RF support! I also added more LED's and one more button while I was at it.

  • 2013

    Software Improvments

    A lot of work went into testing and improving the software to work with the new hardware and Wii Nunchucks. Result now is really fantastic, as you can see in the demo videos!

  • 2014-2015


    Crowdfounding ended up successful. I put a lot of effort trying to make the hardware future proof, so this hardware should work for a reasonable time. And, I have other ideas to make the hardware useful, at no extra cost.

  • Be Part
    Of My


Well, only me at the moment...

Daniel Ã…kesson


Contact Us

You can contact me at treadgaming@gmail.com