Games tech of interest?

Hey Guys.

I know some of this has been discussed before, but does anyone want to speculate on how interesting the MS project Natal (now called Kinect) and the rumour that there may be a 3D camera on the new Nintendo DS could be for amateur UAVs?

Would a 3D camera be useful to us? I'm guessing not really on a relatively high altitude (>10m) fixed wing airframe, but perhaps for multi-rotors it would be great. If the 3DS really does contain a 3D camera, it's going to be tiny, and that could be very useful! I'm also building a AGV, and I expect that I'll be in the queue to get a "kinect" come november.

It's E3 this week so expect lots of interesting (and otherwise) games industry related tech releases in the press.

Nintendo 3DS:

MS Kinect

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  • I happened to be reading about Kinetc the other day. The 3D camera used is actually a time of flight camera. It sends out a pulse if IR light and then uses a high speed shutter to gate the input so it can calculate how long it took each pixel to bounce off of the subject. Since it depends on the IR light to bounce off of the subject it probably won't be of much use for high altitude imaging. It might have interesting uses for indoor flying.

    If you're interested the patent is here

    The Sharp device mentioned is an integrated stereo pair. If we're lucky will end up a low cost stereo vision option which will open up some really cool robotics applications to more people. I'm not sure if the base line distance is great enough to be useful in UAVs, but if it works it could be useful for terrain mapping.
  • A 3D camera is really just 2 cameras. When you know the distance between the two (You can calculate it from the frames), you can calculate a disparity map, and the depth.
    Here is some very early work I did on it. It is rather imprecise because I was using one webcam and moving it after taking a picture, and the auto contrast adjust kept changing. The program exported a file which was loaded into Blender.



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