20 February 2011

Kinect as 3D scanner

Decided that I had mucked around enough in the ros files and that I would re-install the whole darn thing...which seemed a better idea when I started it than when it did an hour later. Note to self: next time write down all the extra tweaks you had to do to make the software install!
In the end, things actually seem better, and I didn't have to re-apply a number of the fixes I found just one or two days ago. Loads of fun to be playing around with code that's being updated daily.
(For the record though: on the first time around, I had applied this fix for using python 2.6 instead of 2.5 with wxwidgets. Also here's a patch to the kdl makefile.)

19 February 2011


Another nifty looking use of the Kinect involves the Robot OS (ROS) project, which sponsored a contest for a Kinect-based game. The winners were from Mexico and describe their games like this:
Fun and Interactive game based on the old famous game lemmings
It took me a little doing to get all the various dependencies working, including modifying some dylibs to get opencv2 working right, and modifying common to get nodelet running. (I apparently have an older version of common, but a single edit to a config file fixed the problem until I do the upgrade.)
It now runs for a little bit and then freezes. Not sure why or what it's doing when frozen, but I'll post a screen shot later today.
Next up: using the Kinect as a 3D scanner with another contest winner, RGBD-6D-SLAM.

13 February 2011


One of the reasons my son got the Kinect option with his XBox this Christmas was so that I could play with it too. That thing is getting a huge amount of attention from all sorts of computer-science people, and most of what they're doing with it is incredibly interesting. Try searching on YouTube for "kinect" for a start. For my part I've been reading around about how to install the open-source software on my Mac, in hopes of being able to use some of it for 3D work (OK, or for cool games).
Step 1 in actually hooking up the Kinect to my laptop was getting a USB cable. The older XBoxes had a standard USB port, but the newer ones don't. Instead they have a proprietary port that carries both power and the data to the Kinect (No surprise from MicroSoft), but since they want to sell Kinects to all those people with older XBoxes, they had to sell a kit to do that and that kit has a USB connector on it. Mine arrived Thursday and I finally got a chance to hook it up today. Since I haven't gotten the ROS-based software up and running yet, I used Oliver Kreylos' driver and got this:

I spent the better part of the evening trying to get the ROS stuff to work, so I didn't do any calibration yet with Oliver's software, but I'll try to do some of that tomorrow before I go sell 50/50 tickets or something at the kid's basketball game.