A new project listed today on Microsoft involving Kinect and Kinect SDK dubbed "Vehicle for physically challenged," is novel in the sense that it develops a vehicle for physically challenged/disabled people allowing them to travel intra-city and intercity without getting off the wheelchair.
"Existing system are modified either to allow the physically disabled to drive but involve getting off the wheelchair which means the disabled is dependent on someone else. The vehicle was built from scratch using a scooty engine, wiper motors, power window motors etc. and provides independence to the user to travel intra city as well as intercity," reads the project description.
The Vehicle works in two modes:
- Joystick control of vehicle -- Involves taking input from user through a joystick and then processing to produce servo commands via a Arduino Board.
- Autonomous driving in constrained environment -- Using input from Kinect sensor to obtain depth image and process the frames in real-time to perform depth based blob detection combining it with vision based blob tracking to perform a robust obstacle detection. The technique involves using a slice of depth image for detecting obstacles and then finding path taking in view the maximum steering angle, width of the vehicle, turning radius etc.
Watch the video below:
In another Kinect hack the device is used in a project to help the rehabilitation of stroke patients.
"Strokes are the largest single cause of severe disability in the UK and it is estimated that every year half of the hundred-thousand stroke patients experience upper limb problems. This project could make a significant difference to the wellbeing of those affected," said Simon Wickes, Healthcare Business Sector Manager at Roke.