Feeds

Kinect blesses rescue robot with 3D sight

Peripheral vision

The Power of One Infographic

Microsoft's Kinect sensor can be used for much more than just entertainment. In fact, it's already being utilised in a device that could save lives.

A team from the University of Warwick has used Kinect to develop a rescue robot that navigates dangerous places in search of survivors, BBC News reports.

This would be ideal for the current situation in Christchurch, as some buildings have proven too risky for rescue teams to enter and 200 people remain missing amid the chaos.

According to Warwick Mobile Robotics (WMR), the machine uses Kinect to create a full 3D view of an area, rather than the linear representations produced by a laser range finder. This allows the team to quickly produce a full 3D map of a building's interior to help rescue services streamline the search process.

WMR Kinect Robot

The use of Kinect also knocks £2000 off the cost of producing the robot, the team said.

Until recently, Microsoft wouldn't allow its hardware to be used on devices other than its games console. The WMR robot was only made possible when hackers tore a Kinect apart and released unofficial drivers for use with other platforms. That has now changed and Microsoft officially announced a Kinect SDK for Windows last week.

The development kit won't be available until later this spring, but when it does hit the market, it'll pave the way for similar life-saving technologies to be produced. Soon, we'll find Kinect help in more places than simply a troubleshooting manual. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.