Japanese company NSK has pulled off the mother of all Kinect hacks, and all they had to do was build a fully functioning robotic dog around Microsoft's gaming peripheral. With help from Tokyo-based University of Electro-Communications, NSK has built a robotic guide dog for the visually impaired that uses a Kinect to evaluate and understand its environment and help its owner safely navigate.
The wheeled canine is activated when the user puts pressure on its handle, letting it know the user is ready to go. The robo-dog then speaks to the user in a computerized female voice, giving the user details about the environment and potential obstacles and commands on how to negotiate them. The robo-dog glides on its wheels on flat surfaces, but it can also climb up and down stairs and other obstacles if it needs to.
Future iterations will include voice commands (from user to robotic pooch) and GPS for better navigation. In the meantime, the laboratory prototype is still pretty impressive, if a bit loud.
lets inplant kinect into the bionic eye...
that would be fun ^^
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
Awesome first step. Now if someone could just take the point/distance data from a Kinect and feed it into a vest that outputs distance as pressure points on the chest, the blind wouldn't even need the robot dog. It's actually pretty darn simple, yet no one has done it.
Wait... Popsci, you just said some of the best tools were animals. Robot seeing eye dog's, real seeing eye dogs. Someone's losing ground here.
" Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein
I suppose a robotic electronic dog could never go bark,
but only go, ARC! ARC! ARC!
While this is a really cool piece of technology, I wonder if a blind person would actually want something that would bring so much attention to the fact that he/she is blind. Like the article says, this dog is loud, and because of it's size, it's hard to miss.
Its a good start and a good idea, the issue with a real dog is that is has no inbuilt navman, tends to get distracted by other animals sometimes (dogs are trained not to, but that doesn't stop another dog attacking your guidedog). It also has the advantage of not pooping all over the place!