This is maybe only peripherally (ha!) related to robotics, but it’s cool enough that I thought it was worth sharing… Besides, it’s Friday, and you deserve some nifty videos to watch. Anyway, we’ve posted before on all the cool things that roboticists have been able to do with Microsoft’s stupidly cheap and effective 3D camera system, and Willow Garage took some initiative and sponsored a contest to try and kick start even more open source Kinect innovation.
First place (and $3k) went to Garratt Gallagher’s "Customizable Buttons." Using a piece of paper and a pen, you can just draw your own touch-sensitive controls:
The second and third places went to robots we’ve covered before, namely UC Berkeley’s quadrotors and Taylor Veltrop’s teleoperation, while a real-time color 3D mapping tool from the University of Freiburg took home the most useful award.
Taking home no awards, but one of my personal favorite demos, was Kinemmings, a game of Lemmings played using your body and the Kinect sensor. Yes, it may not be advancing the field of robots or whatever, but it sure looks like fun:
Microsoft should absolutely pay those guys a bajillion dollars and hire them as game designers or something. Seriously, Kinect has way more potential than one company can possibly harness. And as for robots, great strides are obviously being made, and the future is (hopefully) limitless. If any of these projects are of use to you personally, remember that since they’re on ROS, you can just download them and put them to work yourself.
[ ROS 3D Contest ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.