Ridiculously awesome Kinect copter is awesome

What happens when you mount an Xbox Kinect camera on top of a wireless "quadrocopter?" You get one of the coolest contraptions ever documented on YouTube.

The Kinect copter is hacked together to sense its surroundings, which was apparently a cool enough proposition for the folks at UC Berkely to justify expensing one of the sensors for the engineering lab. Using the camera's built-in features, it can move around, change its view, and recognize when an object or obstacle is in its way. It's kind of like a Roomba, except way cooler. It can't vacuum anything, though.

For now, it can only run a predetermined path. If it sees something in its way, it will stop and hover, instead of trying to find a way around. Then, when the obstacle is moved, it will continue. Still pretty cool.

Are we the only ones frustrated that Kinect can become an autonomous flying robot, a holographic video display, and a motion-controlled computer, but in its official use all we have are dancing and mini-games?

Dec 6, 2010