NASA uses Microsoft's Kinect for Windows v2 for robotic research

In November, Microsoft sent out the first preview versions of Kinect for Windows v2 to a number of developers. One of them was a team based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and it is already using the motion capture technology to help improve control of robotic devices.

As reported by Engadget, the JPL group teamed up the new and more advanced Kinect sensors with the Oculus Rift VR product, along with their own applications, to control the movement of a robotic arm. JPL team member Alex Menzies states the use of the head mounted Oculus Rift device combined with the next generation Kinect hardware resulted in a user being able to move the arm so that it " ...  feels like an extension of your own body ... "

The ultimate goal is to come up with a way to remotely control other robots with this method, such as the humanoid Robonaut 2 that's currently on board the International Space Station. That device is made to work in places in space that are too dangerous for human astronauts and being able to control Robonaut 2 from a distance via a VR helmet and Kinect sensors could save lots of time and money for various tasks aboard the ISS.

Source: Engadget

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