MIT's Robust Robotics Group seems to be as thrilled with the Kinect and the hacking possibilities that emanate therefrom as we are. They've attached a Kinect to a quadrocopter, which enables completely autonomous 3-D mapping and flight--even the processing is done on board.
MIT worked with the University of Washington on this project, using UW's SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) algorithms to construct these pretty models of the environment, using the data picked up by the Kinect's sensors. The SLAM maps are actually kind of a bonus on top of the main function of the project, which is to enable fully autonomous flight in areas without GPS coverage: SLAM maps are processed off site, but they're not necessary to the operation of the quadrocopter.
The project has some pretty obvious military uses, which explains why it was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office (way to mix up the naming conventions, guys). Being able to send a cheap, effective robotic copter that map an area without GPS or remote control is pretty valuable, a nice step forward for unmanned robotics. For us civilians? We'll take a super smart Kinectified Roomba.
Who would have that that the beginnings of Skynet would involve a Microsoft Kinect
yup, this will go down in history as the technology that evolves into hunter killers, time will tell who they will be hunting, those who think this is paranoia, just remember who the sponsors are
Maybe we can get these installed for people who text/phone/drink and drive. It would have to do a better job then they do.
next step: convert the quibits(3d pixels) into polygons
wow, it can hover!! amazing.
Cool. Why was there a huge gap in the floor though?
Wow this is a cool step forwards in the creation of autonomous robots. Think of the caves we can map or the sewers that nobody would have to crawl through anymore : )
Think of how tight up my ass Google can now map me, my home, and everything else I own!!!
I know this is military sponsored, but imagine the implications this tech might also have for the blind. Fastforward about 5 years: a Kinect sensor on the bridge of your glasses along with a wireless ocular implant could provide a realtime map (possibly even human recognition) of any location.