updated 01:15 pm EDT, Wed March 30, 2011
Kinect used in quadrocopter to fly on its own
Perhaps the coolest mod involving Microsoft's Xbox Kinect has been developed by a number of students. A quadrocopter carries the peripheral and is capable of fully autonomous flight, with all calculations done in real time and onboard the vehicle. The project was led by MIT students Albert Huang, Abraham Bachrach, Garrett Hemann, and Nicholas Roy, the University of Washington's Peter Henry, Mike Krainin, and Dieter Fox, as well as Xiaofeng Ren from Intel Labs in Seattle.
The quadrocopter aligns successive camera frames and matches environment features across images before using the depth estimates from the Kinect to move. Students say they used state-of-the art algorithms and recent advances in visual odometry research.
The project was funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office. [via sUAS News]