Hacking the Kinect

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Apress, Mar 30, 2012 - Technology & Engineering - 268 pages
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Hacking the Kinect is the technogeek’s guide to developing software and creating projects involving the groundbreaking volumetric sensor known as the Microsoft Kinect. Microsoft’s release of the Kinect in the fall of 2010 startled the technology world by providing a low-cost sensor that can detect and track body movement in three-dimensional space. The Kinect set new records for the fastest-selling gadget of all time. It has been adopted worldwide by hobbyists, robotics enthusiasts, artists, and even some entrepreneurs hoping to build business around the technology.

Hacking the Kinect introduces you to programming for the Kinect. You’ll learn to set up a software environment, stream data from the Kinect, and write code to interpret that data. The progression of hands-on projects in the book leads you even deeper into an understanding of how the device functions and how you can apply it to create fun and educational projects. Who knows? You might even come up with a business idea.

Provides an excellent source of fun and educational projects for a tech-savvy parent to pursue with a son or daughter Leads you progressively from making your very first connection to the Kinect through mastery of its full feature set Shows how to interpret the Kinect data stream in order to drive your own software and hardware applications, including robotics applications What you’ll learn How to create a software environment and connect to the Kinect from your PC How to create three-dimensional images from the Kinect data stream How to recognize and work around hardware limitations How to build computer interfaces in the style of "Minority Report" How to interact directly with objects in the virtual world The ins and outs of point clouds, voxel occupancy maps, depth images, and other fundamentals of volumetric sensor technology Who this book is for

Hacking the Kinect is aimed at makers of all types. Tech-savvy artists can use the Kinect to drive three-dimensional, interactive artwork. Robotics hobbyists can create robots capable of “seeing” and responding to human motion and gesture. Programmers can create applications in which users manipulate data through physical motion and gestures. The creative possibilities are limitless, and fun!

Hacking the Kinect does require some programming background. Familiarity with programming in C++ or similar languages is assumed. Readers should also be reasonably comfortable working with electronics—for example, with Arduino or similar equipment.

Table of Contents Introducing the Kinect Hardware Software Computer Vision Gesture Recognition Voxelization Introducing Point Clouds Enhancing Our Point Clouds Object Modeling and Detection Multiple Kinects
 

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Contents

Introducing the Kinect
1
Hardware
11
Software
41
Computer Vision
65
Gesture Recognition
89
Voxelization
103
Point Clouds Part 1
127
Point Clouds Part 2
151
Object Modeling and Detection
173
Multiple Kinects
207
Index
247
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jeff Kramer is a research programmer at the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (http://www.rec.ri.cmu.edu). He has been involved in robots since he was just 12 years old.

Matt Parker is a new media artist and game designer. As an artist, his interest lies in exploring the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. His work has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, SIGGRAPH Asia, the NY Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image, FILE Games Rio, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, and many other venues. His game Lucid was a finalist in Android's Developer Challenge 2 and his game Recurse was a finalist for Indiecade 2010. His project Lumarca won the "Create the Future" Prize at the World Maker Faire 2010.

Matt earned his B.A. in Computer Science from Vassar college and a Masters from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He has served as a new media researcher and adjunct faculty member at NYU since 2009. He is currently a visiting professor at Sarah Lawrence College, and an Artist in Residence at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center.

Daniel Herrera C. works as a computer vision researcher at the University of Oulu, Finland. He is currently doing his PhD in the areas of image based rendering and free viewpoint video. His early work with the Kinect led him to develop an open source calibration algorithm. The Kinect Calibration Toolbox is now being used by researchers around the world. Since then the Kinect has become one of the main tools for his research.

Daniel received his bachelor in systems engineering at the young age of 18 from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. He also received a bachelor in electronics engineering from the ITCR (Costa Rica) and a master in computer vision and robotics from the erasmus mundus program Vibot, a joint program between the Heriot-Watt University (UK), Universitat de Girona (Spain), and l'Université de Bourgogne (France).

Nicolas Burrus is a researcher in computer vision at the Carlos III University of Madrid, with a special interest on 3d object model acquisition and recognition for robotic applications. He actively took part in the impressive wave of interest following Microsoft's release of the Kinect by publishing RGBDemo, an opensource software showcasing many applications of the Kinect. RGBDemo is being used by many research labs, companies, and hobbyists, and this success led him to co-found the Manctl startup with the ambition of developing a low-cost universal 3D scanner. Nicolas holds a PhD from Paris VI university, and a Master of Computer Science from EPITA (Paris, France).

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