Saturday, April 9, 2011

First tests with Kinect and PC

Before we started on the Kinect Belt, we wanted to mess around with the Kinect on our PCs. We found the instructions to install the driver from this website. While the set up was pretty easy, there were some kinks when it came to transferring files around to different folders like they instruct. Once Microsoft comes out with its official SDK, this should be a lot easier.

We were able to run all of the demos, but our favorite was the Ogre demo. The program maps points on your body to a stick figure around which is the body of a dual-sword-bearing ogre. Check out the video below:

As we wait for our parts to come in, we will continue testing and modifying code with the Kinect, and start to program the Kinect Belt.

Kinect Belt

Our medical-themed project idea is called the Kinect-operated Vibro-tactile Belt for Aiding the Visually Impaired. As the name suggests, our product will use a Kinect to aid one's vision. Our product will be aimed towards blind users.

Our plan is to mount a Kinect on a belt or waistband along with 3-6 vibration motors and a BeagleBoard. The Kinect will detect objects in the blind user's path and vibrate the motors to warn him or her of the obstacles. For example, if there is an obstacle on the left, the left most motors will vibrate.

The BeagleBoard will take input from the Kinect and output which motors to vibrate. We are still figuring out how to power it wirelessly, but this similar project should help us out.

Here is a diagram of our project which includes the headphones/voice guidance project expansion: