Microsoft Kinect Enhances Robotics Competition

At the the New York City FIRST Mega Weekend, the Microsoft Kinect is changing and enhancing the way robotics competitions are done. In addition to the normal joystick and keyboard controls, each team will be supplied with a Kinect for development, and at the competition, one of each team’s robots will be controllable via the Kinect. Alex Kipman, one of the designers of the Kinect, is very excited to see what talented individuals can do with the Kinect. He feels the hardware has a lot of potential beyond that of console games.

“We designed Kinect to make entertainment more simple and more approachable,” said Alex Kipman, GM, Hardware Incubation for Xbox at Microsoft in the FIRST® Robotics Competition Kickoff Video, aired on January 9, 2012.  “(The) technology has so much potential uses beyond the living room.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing what (the teams) do with it with (their) robots at the FIRST Robotics Competition.”

The FIRST Mega Weekend competition will be March 16-18, 2012 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. More than sixty teams are expected to compete. After seeing what homebrew developers have done with the Wii, I’m am very interested in seeing how the robot developers can integrate the Kinect into their designs. The hardware has potential. Voice and motion control via a small camera that connects through a USB port is a rather impressive piece of hardware, which is easy to forget, given that there haven’t been many games to use its full capacity yet. Robotics could be a different story. Time will tell.

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Source: FIRST Marketing Committee

 

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