Our top picks for Kinect ingenuity #6
Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a robot that uses Microsoft’s Kinect to navigate through its surroundings. The MIT approach, based on a technique called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), will allow robots to constantly update a map as they learn new information over time. As the robot travels through an unexplored area, the Kinect sensor’s visible-light video camera and infrared depth sensor scan the surroundings, building up a 3-D model of the walls of the room and the objects within it. Then, when the robot passes through the same area again, the system compares the features of the new image it has created—including details such as the edges of walls, for example—with all the previous images it has taken until it finds a match.