Feeds

Kinect blesses rescue robot with 3D sight

Peripheral vision

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Dragon Age Inquisition: Our chief weapons are...
Bioware's fantasy forces in fine fettle
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.