From home vacuum cleaners to automotive welders to precision surgical aids, robots are making their way into every facet of our lives. Now NASA, no stranger to the world of robotics, is using the latest version of Kinect for Windows to control an off-the-shelf robotic arm remotely. Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have created a system that links together an Oculus Rift head-mounted display with the gesture-recognition capabilities of Kinect for Windows, enabling a person to manipulate the robotic arm with great precision simply by gesturing his or her real arm. The ultimate goal is to enhance the control of robots that are far from Earth, like the Mars rovers, but NASA is also exploring partnerships with companies that seek to perfect the technology for Earth-bound applications.

Kinect for Windows Team

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