Microsoft uses Kinect for 'Beamatron' virtual RC car project

Everyone loves RC cars. The idea of driving a toy car around with a remote control is fun for all ages. Now Microsoft has created a concept that is basically a high tech (and likely highly expensive) version of the RC car called Beamatron.

As described on the Next at Microsoft blog, and shown in the video above, a team at Microsoft Research has combined a Kinect motion gesture camera with a projector and placed both on a gyroscopic overhead mount. The mount is similar to what you might see in a nightclub or at a music concert, where a light moves around in all directions.

With the Kinect device and the projector mounted in the light set-up, Microsoft team members have created the image of a RC car that is projected down to the floor. The car can be manipulated via a modified Xbox 360 driving controller.

When a person drives the virtual RC car around the room, the Kinect device senses where there are real structures in the room such as bumps, ramps and walls. The virtual RC car reacts to the environment as if it was a real car, bumping into walls and tumbling off ramps.

It's definitely a cool concept and it will be interesting to see how this can be expanded in the future for gaming and other purposes.

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