Kinect@Home needs 3D models of homes to make robots more awesome
The sad truth of the Roomba vacuum is that it is inevitably going to run into things—furniture, walls, even the occasional cat. If a robot bumping into stuff is an ongoing issue in your house, the people behind Kinect@Home want to help you out.
Kinect@Home is a two-way street for both consumers and roboticists to work together, as Hack a Day points out: Using a Kinect camera—along with the Kinect@Home team’s drivers and browser plug-in—you can scan entire rooms and create 3D models of them on your computer to share and manipulate.
While you might have fun with the Kinect@Home 3D models you create, the three men behind the project will use these models to advance robotics research. Alper Aydemir, Rasmus Goransson, and Professor Patric Jensfelt started Kinect@Home as a research project at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. The team hopes that the models created by “everyday people” will assist them in reaching their stated goal:
“Kinect@Home aims to use your powers to make robots more awesome than ever. Robotics and computer vision researchers need vast amount of images from everyday environments such as homes and offices to improve their algorithms.”
Check out some of the public models available on the Kinect@Home gallery to see how the program works. If you are now eyeing your Kinect in hopes of modeling a room of your own, the project’s website has a simple, browser-based tool that lets you create your model in just a few minutes.