Chalk up one more for Kinect


In my recent article about the Kinect controller, I talked about its expanded usefulness beyond gesture recognition into the area of 3D animation and motion capture, but I failed to mention another important area which is 3D mapping. Well, the engineers at the University of Warwick have a found a way just to do that. They equipped their rescue Warwick Mobile Robot with a Kinect controller instead of expensive  laser based equipment and achieved great results. Not only did they gain deep cost savings of over £2000 per robot, they also concluded that…

…as well as being cheaper, the machine is more technologically advanced than ever before.

“What we had before was a LIDAR – a laser range finder – but that then just gives you literally a planar view so you get a flat-line of how far things are away from you. The robots are currently in the testing phase.”Whereas the Kinect gives us a 3-D view so we can actually see like an image and how far everything is away.”


Below is a video of the Warwick Mobile Robot in action without the Kinect controller.