Quadrotor + Kinect = One Weird Looking Robot

Mounting a Kinect sensor on a quadrotor may look bizarre, but it makes for one seriously capable robot

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Evan Ackerman is IEEE Spectrum’s robotics editor.

Kinect’s 3D sensor is so cheap and effective that it’s getting bolted onto any robot that moves, and quadrotors are just the latest victims. UC Berkeley’s quadrotor is using the Kinect for autonomous flight and dynamic obstacle avoidance, and as long as you don’t come at it from behind, it works great. The nice thing about using Kinect like this is that it translates into a SLAM system, where the robot can fly around and make a 3D map of a space using the same data that it’s relying on to keep from crashing in to stuff.

[ UC Berkeley Hybrid Systems Lab ] via [ Trossen ]

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