New Robot Uses Kinect for Peepers

New Robot Uses Kinect for Peepers

The list of uses for Kinect, other than petting a adorable baby tiger or getting your groove on, just got a little bit longer.

Researchers at the MIT Personal Robotics Group have built a prototype robot that sees using Microsoft's motion controller, Kinect, to see. The robot is built using the iRobot Create platform, and is essentially a Roomba with an onboard computer, range finder, and - of course - Kinect sensor.

The robot learns its surroundings by exploring and collecting information using Kinect's depth sensor. It relays that information back to a host computer where it is used to essentially "paint" a map of the area that becomes more and more detailed as the robot explores. The robot is also capable of identifying human beings, and then tracking their limbs. This allows people to direct the robot by pointing in the direction they want it to go.

It's unlikely that this is the first time anyone has thought about using a depth sensor on a robot, but I wouldn't be surprised if Kinect is opening up new avenues because it's cheaper and more convenient than trying to build a custom solution. It's a little like universities and other institutions - like the US Air Force - buying up PS3 to use as processor clusters. It's not that other solutions didn't exist, it's just that using gaming hardware was more cost effective.

It's pretty remarkable what the researchers at MIT have been able to do with Kinect in such a short length of time. It makes you wonder what they, and the other people tinkering with Kinect right now, will come up with months from now.

Source: Engadget

Permalink

This looks really interesting. It might even be usefull!

I bet the Kinect is used in a worldwide atomic-robot war in about 15 years, and that it was all according to plan.

I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

Awesome!
Although, kind of reminds me of terminator.

brainless_fps_player:
Awesome!
Although, kind of reminds me of terminator.

This made me think of the predator music/heartbeat that comes on when the predator in the original movie is shown using his thermal vision. Imagine that coming on when the digital 'map' is created and when it sees the guy pointing. Just made me chuckle...*sighs*

OT: Anywho, very cool. I also agree with Pirate Kitty, it's surprising to see so much Kinect news not be about it's original intended purpose. Maybe it's not without it's uses?

Pirate Kitty:
I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

Hah, so true. I wonder if that will change once the promised 'hardcore' games come out...

Countdown to Microsoft wanting a cut in 5...4...3...2...

Wicky_42:

Pirate Kitty:
I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

Hah, so true. I wonder if that will change once the promised 'hardcore' games come out...

The hardcore games better involve running from blood-thirsty sentient Kinect robots.

Pirate Kitty:
I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

just imagine the games that can come from this you remember R.O.B the robot well with Kinect you get (enter name here) the robot who won't try to kill you in your sleep or take pictures of you and send them to microsoft

Gamegodtre:

Pirate Kitty:
I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

just imagine the games that can come from this you remember R.O.B the robot well with Kinect you get (enter name here) the robot who won't try to kill you in your sleep or take pictures of you and send them to microsoft

So.. creepy >_>

/shudder

This is tremendous.

Imagine where this will get us with robotic technology since the researchers have more money they saved on this. I wouldn't be surprised that it would be the catalyst for simple robotic aids[1] for sell to the wealthy by 2030 or so. Pretty good considering we didn't even have something as simple as cell phones 20-30ISH years ago. At least in convinient sizes, mind you.

Bricks with a stick in it =/= easy to use.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Countdown to Microsoft wanting a cut in 5...4...3...2...

You do realize that initiating a countdown implies that it wasn't going to happen anyways, right? :L

[1] Helper pl0x, Dr. Venture? :3

Portal Maniac:

You do realize that initiating a countdown implies that it wasn't going to happen anyways, right? :L

I realise that Microsoft will already be claiming this as a use for the Kinetic despite all the bits being around for years anyway. This is just pointing out they have a chance in the courts as well.

Yggdraz0r:
This looks really interesting. It might even be usefull!

I bet the Kinect is used in a worldwide atomic-robot war in about 15 years, and that it was all according to plan.

Completely offtopic, but your avatar is totally awesome.

Are you going to see Sint by any chance?

You know what? Microsoft should stop marketing this as a gaming peripheral and start selling it as a science experiment :P

I am glad Microsoft's Kinect is being used for something greater and in a more cost-efficient manner. Reminds me of the US Air force PS3 clustered supercomputers indeed. Nice job!

Pirate Kitty:
I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

Haha, You are right about that.Where are the news about Kinect getting used to games?
And doesnt this mean our robot overlords can track ous so much better now?

Dear me, they're just using all sorts of things for this Technology.

It's weird that Microsoft WOULDN'T want this, considering that it's naturally tampering with the hardware. It's what's making all this cash. :p

Wow, Kinect is awesome!

...Wait, you mean it plays games too?

Pirate Kitty:
I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

The same people working on the robots, and other non-gaming uses for Kinect are also doing stuff like this:

Concepts like this will eventually come back to games, and we'll finally have something for the hardcore crowd to be interested in that utilizes Kinect.

Vanguard_Ex:

Wicky_42:

Pirate Kitty:
I love it how all the news of late about Kinect is how it can be used for everything but games XD

So little in the way of Kinect related gaming news, lol.

Hah, so true. I wonder if that will change once the promised 'hardcore' games come out...

The hardcore games better involve running from blood-thirsty sentient Kinect robots.

I dunno - that may be a bit close to reality for me to feel comfortable... especially as it would be a Kinect running the simulation of it trying to kill you. Sounds far too much like a robot training sim 0.o

The_root_of_all_evil:
Countdown to Microsoft wanting a cut in 5...4...3...2...

Well hopefully someone manages to use it to help retarded/movement impaired/blind children before the lawyers take flight. They'll never be able to fight that kind of battle and put a good spin on it.

CaptainCrunch:

The same people working on the robots, and other non-gaming uses for Kinect are also doing stuff like this:

Concepts like this will eventually come back to games, and we'll finally have something for the hardcore crowd to be interested in that utilizes Kinect.

As cool as that looks I can't see it integrating into gaming. It's natural to move my head to get a better look but the in-game head is insubstantial so I think it would be counter intuitive to direct a limb that I can't feel... if that makes any sense.

manythings:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Countdown to Microsoft wanting a cut in 5...4...3...2...

Well hopefully someone manages to use it to help retarded/movement impaired/blind children before the lawyers take flight. They'll never be able to fight that kind of battle and put a good spin on it.

Agreed, there's hundreds of things that it could be used for that would really benefit mankind, but if Microsoft slap an exorbitant price on it - that could all be lost.

manythings:
As cool as that looks I can't see it integrating into gaming. It's natural to move my head to get a better look but the in-game head is insubstantial so I think it would be counter intuitive to direct a limb that I can't feel... if that makes any sense.

Is it intuitive to step on arrows in DDR, or to use any of the music game peripherals out there? No, but the 'fun factor' allows these mechanics to persist and become profitable.

Using head tracking to give fake 3D without a special television is absolutely something reasonable for a game to do, especially if the mechanics are designed with the principle in mind. I don't think you'd see this in a twitch shooter like CoD or Halo, but it would almost certainly be effective and fun in puzzle-based adventure games and horror titles like Silent Hill.

CaptainCrunch:

manythings:
As cool as that looks I can't see it integrating into gaming. It's natural to move my head to get a better look but the in-game head is insubstantial so I think it would be counter intuitive to direct a limb that I can't feel... if that makes any sense.

Is it intuitive to step on arrows in DDR, or to use any of the music game peripherals out there? No, but the 'fun factor' allows these mechanics to persist and become profitable.

Using head tracking to give fake 3D without a special television is absolutely something reasonable for a game to do, especially if the mechanics are designed with the principle in mind. I don't think you'd see this in a twitch shooter like CoD or Halo, but it would almost certainly be effective and fun in puzzle-based adventure games and horror titles like Silent Hill.

Put like that I can see how it can be used but I'm still not ready to pre-order it, I'd need to see something substantial to really get a feel for what it can do.

Ekonk:

Yggdraz0r:
This looks really interesting. It might even be usefull!

I bet the Kinect is used in a worldwide atomic-robot war in about 15 years, and that it was all according to plan.

Completely offtopic, but your avatar is totally awesome.

Are you going to see Sint by any chance?

Thanks :p. For some odd reason I'd like to.. but I probably will be dissappointed.. and I am not even sure why. :\.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here