Ever since Microsoft launched Kinect, there have been countless hacks that involved this device. From MIDI controllers to robots, more recently, everything seems to be manageable via Kinect.
The autonomous robot designed by the Microsoft Research team is based on Roomba, the vacuum cleaning robot, and employs a Kinect sensor, Kinect for Windows SDK, as well as Microsoft’s Robotics Studio. It can easily detect moving object and obstacles, fact that makes the robot very useful for mapping unknown environments. In the above picture, the box featuring the X-Box logo is only used as a stand for the Kinect sensor.
According to a representative of Microsoft Research, building this robot took approximately two weeks. Presumably, the obstacle detection part was the most difficult thing to implement. At the moment, the Kinect Roomba robot may not seem fantastic, but it would be interesting to see where all this project leads. In the future we may see Kinect robots that literally walk around and know how to avoid bumping into objects and persons. This will make the interaction with humans more natural.
The Kinect robot also includes a battery, but details related to the type and capacity are yet unknown. Also, the battery life has not been divulged, either. The developers showcased this robot at MIX ’11, a conference organized by Microsoft in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, in April. The Redmond software giant took advantage of this event for exposing some of the latest technologies its employees are working on.
One interesting aspect is that the team referred to their project as an active robot, emphasizing this way the increased interaction with objects and humans.Since the components of this Kinect robot are widely available, people may be able to build one at home, given that Microsoft is willing to share the software for this project.
Via: Kinect Hacks