This new Microsoft Kinect hack might have the most appeal for the DARPA set. Researchers at the Hybrid Systems Laboratory at UC Berkeley mounted a Kinect sensor atop their Ascending Technologies Pelican quadrotor UAV, mapping the copter's surroundings so it can avoid obstacles while traveling along a predetermined, programmed path.
The attached Kinect uses its sensor to map the room in much the same way as it maps the arrhythmically spasming limbs of a Dance Central player. That map, consisting of thousands of light points, is sent to a computer mounted on board, which runs an algorithm that fits a planar model to the points that represent the room, thus determining where the floor is. This model is fed into the controller as the sensed altitude, helping the quadrocopter determine its location and a logical path of travel. The whole process takes place autonomously on board the UAV.
Truly impressive is seeing the copter pause contemplatively when a new obstacle is introduced into its path; the video below shows the craft in action and lets you peek inside the system's brain. Now, if they could just combine this quadrocopter with the Kinect's proven stealth capabilities--well, I'm not saying we should be considering an army of Kinect-bots, but I'm not saying we shouldn't, either.
The jailbroke Kinect: "1 thousand and 1 uses and counting"
This device hasn't been around for more than a month and the fact that it can play video games seems like an after thought.
Robot vision, gesture-controlled computers, and even (virtual) invisibility are coming from this. Next, I'm sure that it will come around in cellphones and laptops.
Next thing you know, the engineers that built this get the Nobel Prize.
The thing that springs to mind watching the video:
Why doesn't it go AROUND the obstacle?
I agree wit you, 10jacobf... Its surprising how little talk there is about the actual game-playing capabilities of the Kinect... Then again, its a 1st gen controller, there arn't many games you can play with it, at least compared to more standard gaming systems.
One day the pizza will be brought by one of these devices but I think it will be aided by a blimp