Ridiculously awesome Kinect copter is awesome

Proving further that Kinect is cooler when it's not connected to an Xbox

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