Kinect Hack Makes Toy Monkey Mimic Its Master

[Photo: Subtours]
You can keep your pixelated ghost and your dancing robot Microsoft Kinect hacks--this little dancing monkey hack by Subtours is definitely the cutest dancer we've covered. The monkey will copy your every move as you dance around in front of the Kinect.

The artistic project, by Ralph Kistler and Jan Sieber, uses a stuffed animal toy that is hooked up to 10 servomotors, which are also connected to an Arduino microcontroller. The poor monkey also has a firm metal skeleton frame to make him bend like a human. Further OpenNI Framework and OSCeleton coding lets the Kinect pick up the monkey via a hidden computer. The toy is also suspended to capture the super-fast and accurate movements--the Kinect camera is placed on top of the monkey's head. All that's needed now is for a person to step in front of the Kinect and move.

The project was created to show in a fun way "the problem of real natural interaction, and to make "an ironic comment about the present art business through this iconic monkey figure." Check out the quirky mini-documentary below to see the monkey in action and how it was made. This would be pretty cool to try out with the family, but make sure you ask your kids first if you borrow one of their toys!

[Subtours via Hack A Day]

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