Kinect-copter created by grad student

UC Berkeley students use Xbox 360's motion sensor as depth-perception tool used in autonomous flight of unmanned quadrotor.

The list of non-gaming uses for the Kinect keeps growing and growing. Just over a month after the motion-sensing system was first unlocked by open-source software engineers, researchers and tinkerers are finding more and more uses for the device.

The latest? A University of California Berkeley graduate student has attached a Kinect unit to a quadrotor aircraft, turning the device's infrared camera into the vehicle's spatial sensor. The quadrotor can sense its surroundings using the Kinect, with processing done on an onboard Linux computer via open-source OpenKinect drivers.

The Kinect-enabled quadrotor can autonomously sense obstacles.

The result? The quadrotor is capable of autonomous obstacle avoidance. As can be seen in the video below, the device can run a predetermined course around objects. When something is placed in its path, it pauses in midflight to avoid any collision.

The Kinect-enabled quadrotor was created by grad student Patrick Bouffard as part of the STARMAC Project at UC Berkeley's Hybrid Systems Labs. Though Microsoft maintains that the Kinect's primary use is gaming, it has approved of its use in open-source research after initially resisting such uses for the device.

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Discussion

145 comments
mariostar0001
mariostar0001

They finally found a good use for the Kinect, impressive.

D3thN1gh7
D3thN1gh7

Very awesome. It will be awesome to see where this goes.

DarthspartanA15
DarthspartanA15

@mosamania You mean ManHacks? Those things are annoying as fu.... We would all be screwed.

mosamania
mosamania

i can already see "shreders" those flying things in Half Life 2 Moving about. o.O

apolloooo
apolloooo

cool stuff by the way after military using ps3 for supercomputers, and xbox controllers to control robots, now they'll use kinect to make automatic battle robots armed with guns and explosive :P welcome to the future developed by videogames, which is awesome

Johnson94
Johnson94

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

It looks like Wall.e and by looking at the way it moves reminded of the thing with Snake in MGS4. Pretty cool.

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

This's the kind of news they read in sci-fi movies when they're trying to figure out what the hell happened and broke the war between the machines and humans. :P

slowdrum13
slowdrum13

@238GameAddict dude, almost anything is better than gt5, that game looks like a better way to fall asleep than an ambien.

slowdrum13
slowdrum13

@238GameAddict and Phatjam98 Jeez, you guys treat this like its a console vs console flame war or something. I've played with the kinect and i've found it to be slow and inaccurate. Its a toy and a nice distraction, but it'll never be a real input device. And that doesn't mean I'm some nintendo or sony fanboy like you accuse me of being; wii and move suck just as much. I hate all motion control with a passion.

Flint247
Flint247

People have good brain Kinections!

ebonyflame
ebonyflame

Microsoft now has potential to go even further into defense contracting. Unmanned surveillence products programmed to fly at specific heights over specific areas to get even better spy shots, I drool at the idea.

handofthedragon
handofthedragon

M$ is just using people to find out new ways to unlock and use the Kinect then comes in and copy right it.lol. a good stratergy

xfan-atic
xfan-atic

@ahpuck, thanks for the reference.

TheTwilightGMR
TheTwilightGMR

Kinect is an awesome gaming device. it will be a good casual gaming prop, and then when the novelty wears off like with the Wii (let's say a year, maybe a little less), there will actually be some good games for it like the Star Wars Kinect game, Child of Eden, and others. I love my Kinect system. As far as these open source experiments go, it's awesome to see Kinect used for ideas outside the box, and even better to see it done with the ok of Microsoft. Kinect, or perhaps the next generation of it, is the future of gaming. just wait. Alot better than holding a wand in your hand.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

People vastly underestimate the actual Kinect Games. While I suck at dance and rhytm stuff, Dance Central is actually pretty fun. But either way, looking forward to the potential that Child of Eden offers as well as Steel Battalion and Project Draco?

noturfangirl
noturfangirl

kinect.........does everything, but play worthy games.

steelmouth
steelmouth

hopefully all this will translate in to better kinect games

tainted0ne
tainted0ne

Much better than the kinect vacuum.

DuaneDog
DuaneDog

Hopefully Microsoft will release the Kinect SDK / XNA stuff soon. I can't imagine the cool indie type games that could come out if Microsoft stopped just helping the big boys do Kinect games. Given the fact that all these people using the Kinect for research projects don't even a fraction of the utility that Harmonix had when making Dance Central, the results are impressive. I'm a programmer myself and have made a few small Xbox game projects using their XNA kit. Was very disappointing they have not opened up Kinect the same way yet. From a gaming standpoint, Dance Central is the only real 'game' that would be enjoyed by hardcore gamers. Still for family and if you have friends come over Kinect is awesome just for fun. To compare it to the Wii or Move is like comparing swimming to just flapping one arm around. Since Kinect tracks all movement in 3d there are so many more possibilities than just shaking a wand around.

PAL360
PAL360

So, is kinect allways looking at me with that terminator view? I feel uncorfortable now!

LorenaLarue
LorenaLarue

Reminds me of those drones in Metal Gear Solid

gameboy716
gameboy716

That's one heck of a discovery!!!

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

People are talking about military applications but there's one major problem with that idea. It's just not stealthy enough. "What's that buzzing sound?"

johnnybowman
johnnybowman

kincat ability to sense 3d objects in an environ means that alot cool things can now be done

DarkAngeles
DarkAngeles

@DennisWZH No, it isn't. But more advanced motion sensing devices can cost a fathom of money and may not even be available to the general public. Kinect cost 150$ and are sold in general electronic stores. That's quite a big difference, especially considering how much the Kinect seems to be capable of.

KuRf
KuRf

One step closer for T-800 to be function. Kinectcopter = T-1 just need to mount a gatling guns.

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

why is everyone using kinect for their motion sensing? is kinect the most advance motion sensing device in the world now?

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

While certainly not an indication of anything, the game stops near where I live have all sold out except for the kinect/360 bundle. Best Buy had two. Not two on the shelves and two out back. Two. I didn't check any other stores but who knows.

blackace
blackace

Hey Microsoft, the UC Berkeley students would like to order another 100 Kinects for research purposes. Pretty cool. They could probably use something like this to spy on people from above. Kinect: "It Just Does Everything." lol!! Sorry Sony. I couldn't resist. *************************************************** @Mysterieux936 Finally, someone found a way to make kinect fun! ------------------------------------------------------------ Kinect has been fun from day one. People who have never played it wouldn't know this. So far, everyone I've showed it too and played it with are planning to get one now. lol!! It sells itself. I've seen dozens of people playing it in various stores, and just about everyone walked away impressed and a smile on their faces.

UnknownPerson55
UnknownPerson55

they did what took sikorsky a decade to do. (its basically a cypher) xD

HUNTER-VENOM
HUNTER-VENOM

That would be cool to use in safes and homes to get in lol.

gideonkain
gideonkain

Reminds me of those flying Razor bots in Half-Life

DrKill09
DrKill09

That's pretty cool. Kinect looks like it may be more useful as a military tool than a game peripheral. :roll:

BADPHL
BADPHL

robo kinect is more fun to play

buft
buft

@jad206 its not just an IR sensor, otherwise that would be its name, its a Kinect and they just use it instead of one, wheres the news in that? no where

wookieeassassin
wookieeassassin

Er my bad, I was talking to paranormalnut. Tauu, your statement is pretty accurate.

hakjie11
hakjie11

Wall-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Hm, I sense robo-murder on the horizon.. o.O

wookieeassassin
wookieeassassin

Tauu: we already have UAVs and police and military drones. This is special just because it is a 'hack' of the Kinect sensor