Fly an RC Helicopter with Hand Motions and a Kinect

A home-made mod for the Kinect lets a man fly an RC helicopter using his hands to adjust its coordinates in 3D.

rc helicopter kinect

Microsoft apparently wasn’t lying when they said the Kinect motion sensor could help turn your body into a controller. One modder recently found a way to extend this idea beyond video games, and use his body as a controller for an RC helicopter.

Over at MAKE, we’re told that the mod was designed by a youtube user named cdoughty29. Using an Arduino Uno and a Kinect, he’s able to capture and convert signals given by hand gestures into 38 kHz Infrared signals which are transmitted directly to the S107 RC Helicoper.

Check out the video below to see what his project is like when it’s in action. It looks like it would probably be a lot of fun if he had more room to move the chopper around.

Not such a bad home project if you’re into programmer and a little bit of robotics. Thanks to the Kinect, he’s able to translate the movements from his appendages into X, Y, and Z coordinates so that the helicopter can manoeuvre around the room in full 3D.

This is definitely not one of the safest things you can do with your Kinect if you don’t have very much experience handling RC helicopters. Unlike RC monster trucks and cars, those things are basically tiny flying balls of metal. If you plan on trying this at home I’d probably recommend not have anything that’s easily broken and valuable anywhere near the project area. The last thing you’d want would be to crash that little chopper into a mirror or a vase, or even into the Kinect itself!

In other news, check out a Giant Driveable R2-D2 and Red Sand: Fan-Made Movie Prequel to Mass Effect Trilogy.