Free toolkit helps Labview developers interface to the Kinect

Researchers from the school of mechanical engineering at Leeds University (Leeds, UK) have won a prize at NI Week for creating a LabVIEW application programming interface (API) for Microsoft's Kinect software development toolkit (SDK).

Free toolkit helps Labview developers interface to the Kinect
Free toolkit helps Labview developers interface to the Kinect

Researchers from the school of mechanical engineering at Leeds University (Leeds, UK) have been crowned winners of the Student Design Competition at National Instruments NI Week in Austin, Texas for creating a LabVIEW application programming interface (API) for Microsoft's Kinect software development toolkit (SDK).

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The "Kinesthesia" LabVIEW-Kinect toolkit was designed with the intention of allowing both the students and others to easily interface the RGB camera, depth camera and skeletal tracking functionalities of the Kinect with any LabVIEW system.

"We started off by developing a LabVIEW toolkit for the Kinect so we could test its capabilities," says Dominic Clark, a mechanical engineering student at the university. "After seeing the value of the toolkit, we wanted to share and make it available free to other LabVIEW users via the LabVIEW tools network."

Microsoft Kinect revolutionized the games industry through its unique ability to track users' motions, and the students have been using the technology to develop motion tracking tools and programs for medical applications such as stroke rehabilitation and surgical assistance.

More information on the software can be found on the NI site here.

Kinesthesia LabVIEW Toolkit for Microsoft Kinect can be downloaded here.

Interested in reading more about applications of National Instruments LabVIEW? Here is a selection of recent articles that Vision Systems Design has published over the past year.

1. Vision framework supports multiple software packages

Engineers at Averna Technologies (Montreal, Canada) have developed a machine vision system that detects 100-micron-size cracks on both sides of 400o Celsius aluminum slabs that are moving on a conveyor at 20 m/minute.

2. Robots team with 3-D scanners for fast part profiling

AV&R Vision & Robotics (Montreal, QC, Canada) has developed a system that combines visual inspection, robotics, and 3-D profiling techniques.

3. Imaging system helps count seeds

Engineers at Coleman Technologies have used National Instruments (Austin, TX) vision acquisition software to build a system that can count seeds.

4. Video gets a grip on pitching technique

Students at Rice University (Houston, TX, USA; www.rice.edu) have developed a vision-based tool that can be used for the qualitative analysis of a baseball pitcher's grip.

5. Detecting defects in dinnerware

Traditionally, inspecting dinnerware has been an expensive, manually intensive process in which trained personnel individually examine each dish for potential defects. But now, thanks to a vision-based system developed by Coleman Technologies, the entire inspection process has been fully automated.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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