Why the Kinect Device is democratizing robotics

I recently attended a Robotics event at BotNDolly. The founder showed me some really cool stuff. BotNDolly’s technology gives filmmakers and artists the power of robotic motion control without the complexity. A Maya-based workflow makes it easy to animate the physical world, and a suite of “BD” tools plug into the workflow of a modern film set. Record the first take of a shoot and then use a variety of sensors to track the camera in a 3 dimensional space. The resulting x, y, z space can then be brought into Maya and refined. Robots are not just the stars of film – they now do the filming too.

At that same event there was a panel discussion. If you ask a panel of robot experts what technology greatly helped the field of robotics, Kinect may very well be brought up by more than just one pantelist (at least that is what I witnessed). Developers get all the crazy math done for them by the device, no need to do weird 3-dimensional trigonometric math with velocities and angles so that you can figure out the motion of a body. Kinect delivers that to you on a silver platter.

So I am therefore hosting a robotics event in San Francisco on 8/1. I’ve got a line up of 5 amazing speakers, including some stuff with the Kinect team at MS.

Only a few seats remain for Democratizing Robotics - Build your own virtual agent http://www.meetup.com/software/events/129686562/

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I want to do some type of Kinect demo with the cloud. Maybe I’ll write, “Who the $@#!$ is eating my Tomatoes App,” that uses infrared to spy on my back garden to see who is eating my ripening tomatoes. The app will take a photo every so many seconds and then I’ll create a time lapsed video. I’ll automatically upload the images to the cloud at night. Some may infrared because I’m also worried about Deer, Racoons, Skunks, and more. The cloud will track and store the photos and hopefully maintain a time lapsed video of them that I can get a link to from an email.

So I laid out some ground work

The links below are to samples that demonstrate a feature. Notice that the language and framework support is spelled out, as of 7/19/2013. This is the starting point for the aspiring Kinect developer. I was inspired by the Kinect at one point, using it as a baby monitor. Well, now I need a garden monitor.

My Original Post http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/kinect/Baby-NUI-Using-the-Kinect-as-a-Baby-Monitor

I wanted to chart out the learning path I’m looking at for Kinect. This seems like a great place.

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Sample C# C++ VB WPF DirectX Additional information
Audio Basics http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj131039 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj131038.aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj131049.aspx Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
Audio Capture Raw No http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh855374.aspx No No No Available in 1.7.0
Audio Explorer No http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251722 No No Yes Available in 1.7.0
Basic Interactions http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=262371 No No No No Available in 1.6.0
Color Basics http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251726 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251725 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251727 Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
Controls Basics http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188701.aspx No No Yes No http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188671.aspx
Depth Basics http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251730 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251728 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251731 Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
Depth No http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251733 No No Yes Available in 1.7.0
Depth with Color No http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251734 No No Yes Available in 1.7.0
Face Tracking http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251735 No No Yes No http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/develop/developer-downloads.aspx
Face Tracking Basics http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251736 No No Yes No http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/develop/developer-downloads.aspx
Face Tracking Visualization No http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251737 No No Yes http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/develop/developer-downloads.aspx
Green Screen http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251739 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251738 No Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
Infrared Basics http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=262318 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=262319 No Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
Kinect Bridge with MATLAB Basics No http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188693.aspx No No Yes Available in 1.7.0
Kinect Bridge With OpenCV Basics No http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188694.aspx No No Yes Available in 1.7.0
Kinect Explorer http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251740 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188699.aspx Yes Yes No Available in 1.7.0
Kinect Fusion Basics http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188700.aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188696.aspx No Yes Yes http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188670.aspx
Kinect Fusion Explorer http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn193975.aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188697.aspx No Yes Yes http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn188670.aspx
Shape Game http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251741 No No Yes No Available in 1.7.0
Skeletal Viewer No http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251742 No No Yes Available in 1.6.0
Skeleton Basics http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251744 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251743 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251745 Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
Slideshow Gestures http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251746 No No Yes No Available in 1.6.0
Speech Basics http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251748 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251747 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251749 Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
Tic Tac Toe http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251750 No No Yes No Available in 1.7.0
WPF D3D Interop http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=259759 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=259759 No Yes Yes Available in 1.7.0
XNA Basics http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251751 No No Yes No http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23714