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Astronauts Using Kinect to Measure Weight in Space


In an article posted on today, it would appear as though the Kinect sensor may very well be propelling itself from our living room into outer space. Astronauts apparently lose a fair amount of body mass due to muscle atrophy -- approximately15 percent actually -- seeing as how they're in a zero gravity environment, traditional scales don't exactly work all that well.

Some good folks over at the Italian Institute of Technology's Center for Human Space Robotics are using the Kinect's depth sensing capabilities to create a 3D model of the subject which is then compared to a database of 28,000 body types. The estimates are apparently 97% accurate with an error difference of approximately 2.7 kilograms.

The system isn't being tested out just yet in outer space but it seems as though it could be a feasible option down the road. Especially since the Kinect is so small that it can be integrated into the walls of the shuttle. There is currently a system in place that's relatively big and bulky which uses springs to calculate the mass of the astronauts.