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Controlling a Quadrotor Using Kinect

Swiss researchers are using the Kinect 3D sensor to control a quadrotor in a natural and intuitive way

1 min read
Controlling a Quadrotor Using Kinect

My colleagues working on the Flying Machine Arena (or FMA) at the ETH Zurich have just posted a video of their latest feat: A natural human-machine interface for controlling their quadrocopters.

The Magic Wand used for controlling quadrocopters at the ETH Zurich's Flying Machine Arena

Until now, visitors of the FMA could use a magic wand like the one in the right picture to send quadrotors racing through the 10x10x10m space. As shown in the video, the addition of a Kinect now allows a far more natural and intuitive interaction.

What's next? I vote for using the new interface to have Asimo directing the FMA's dancing quadrocopters to the Quadrocopter Opera!

[ ETH - IDSC ]

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How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page
Blue

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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