Kinect Hack Roundup: Robots, Mario Kart and Boobs

Kinect Hack Roundup: Robots, Mario Kart and Boobs

The creativity and technical chops of people messing with Kinect continues to impress.

Ever since the drivers that output RGB video and depth information from a Kinect unit were uploaded for the world to enjoy by Hector on November 10th, the engineering and hacking communities has been on fire. Not only has MIT released video of a robot that uses Kinect to steer and avoid obstacles, but we have also had real time manipulation of 3D video and a Minority Report-like interface for dealing with images. But new Kinect hacks just keep pouring out onto the interwebs, including a video of a two headed man made from two Kinect, a new control scheme for the first Super Mario Kart, and, of course, a Kinect titty tracker.

The surreality of this video from Vimeo user flight404 is produced by two Kinect units pointing at the same subject. When the guy depicted moves, the software compares which image is closer and only displays that information. There's no soundtrack currently, but I could totally see this kind of thing used in a music video sometime soon. Muse perhaps?

If you've played the Kinect game Joy Ride, then you might be familiar with the control scheme of holding your hands up and moving it as if you were holding a steering wheel to control a car. But an enterprising programmer by the name of Dominick D'Aniello has come up with a way to control a ROM of the first Super Mario Kart for the SNES which is infinitely better. To accelerate your kart, you put your foot on the gas. To brake, you move your foot back. D'Aniello hasn't quite got the hang of it yet in the video, but I could see this being much more fun to play than the simplistic controls for Joy Ride.

I'm not sure what the practical application of this Titty Tracker from Dan Wilcox, but it's damn amusing. Bouncing to the beat of Hot Stuff by Donna Summer, Wilcox has programmed a Kinect unit to add coverings over his manboobs. When Wilcox moves his hand, the images covering his impressive rack switch. The various images range from the odd (tires), to the practical (bra), and even reference pop culture with a meat bra to rival Lady Gaga's. I think my favorite is the picture of a pierced nipple covering his real nipples. So meta.

The guys over at Willow Garage have been working on creating an open source platform for the robotics industry for over three years. The team released a video of their work in integrating Kinect into ROS (Robot Operating System) and it looks really promising.

Hopefully, all of the work that these tinkerers, inventors and imagineers are doing will push technology forward. I just hope that it's not going to be used for evil by our robot overlords...

PS: If you appended the headline to this story with George Takei saying, "Oh my!" then we may be kindred spirits.

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I think it is funny that the best thing Microsoft made is being used for everything but what it was originally intended to do.

Rigs83:
I think it is funny that the best thing Microsoft made is being used for everything but what it was originally intended to do.

Exactly. You ninja'd me.

Microsoft, idiots. They quickly PR-spinned the story to suddenly say they are pro-hacking their Kinect when early they stated they would use the law to punish those who tried to attempt it.

This is hilarious.

Okay cool so when can I use kinect in sculptris or zbrush to shape models with my hands?

music is played when boobs are detected

I love how the kinnect was crap, but the hackers can do something useful with it.

'Music is played when boobs are detected' just might be the finest possible sentence in the English language.

This is all cool, but as a game nerd I'd vastly prefer they come out with some decent games for it that I'd actually want to play.

I want to sit here and say that I am overwhelmed with the way that people have taken technology over the last couple of decades and purposely worked to bring it to its most moronic ends.

However its hard for me to do so, because even underneath all the goofy things being done with it, it will pave the road for some very interesting things later on.

Semms more like kinect was a toolbox for developers then something actually worthwhile to gaming, also notice what all these examples have in common? They lack reliable control, just like every other motion controller ever made used for anything other then pointing at an object

Straying Bullet:

Rigs83:
I think it is funny that the best thing Microsoft made is being used for everything but what it was originally intended to do.

Exactly. You ninja'd me.

Microsoft, idiots. They quickly PR-spinned the story to suddenly say they are pro-hacking their Kinect when early they stated they would use the law to punish those who tried to attempt it.

This is hilarious.

The second it looked like people would use the technology to help crippled/blind/retarded kids they backed off that stance. Nintendo wouldn't have come out looking good if they tried to sue the college that made a chair for movement impaired toddlers that incorporated a balance board. Seeing all the crazy stuff people are putting out already I am looking forward to the next 18 months.

Also I'd be amazed if Microsoft aren't already planning some kind of Tech conference to bring all these guys in to get some useful ideas.

I could totally see this kind of thing used in a music video sometime soon. Muse perhaps?

Radiohead's House of Cards video already used similar tech.

 

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