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13 February 2011


by John D. Muccigrosso

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. tags: kinect