Alright, so maybe I’m being a little cheeky by claiming that this robot is the most fun you could have with Kinect, but quite frankly, as far as I’m concerned, it sure beats some of the arm-waving minigames I’ve seen so far.
MIT student Phillip Roebbel has hooked up a newly-hacked Xbox Kinect to an iRobot to create the coolest thing that I’m gonna see today – and with any luck, the coolest thing you’ll see, too.
By giving the Kinect – which can already and judge terrain and distance – the ability to look and wander around, Roebbel has given it the ability to map its surroundings in 360 degrees, allowing it to know where it is in relation to the room it’s in. When it spots a person, as with typical Kinect functionality, it can recognize gestures and respond accordingly. Honestly, just watch the video. It’s too cool.
Roebbel tells SingularityHub that his robot is the result of wanting to create a rescue bot to locate missing people in disaster areas. I’d say we’re still a ways off that kind of robotic derring-do, but we’re certainly on the right track.