Juggling With an Animatronic Humanoid Robot
The Kinect has this unique ability to really "wow" people while simultaneously creeping them the hell out. Take for example this hack put together by some animatronic wizards over at Disney for their theme park. The goal - juggle with a robot. That's right folks, soon you'll be able to toss a ball to your favourite Disney character and have it sent back before you send the next one over.
We use an external camera system (ASUS Xtion PRO LIVE) to locate balls and a Kalman ﬁlter to predict ball destination and timing. The robot's hand and joint-space are calibrated to the vision coordinate system using a least-squares technique, such that the hand can be positioned to the predicted location. Successful catches are thrown back two and a half meters forward to the participant, and missed catches are detected to trigger suitable animations that indicate failure.
Although they used an ASUS Xtion PRO LIVE for this demo, a Kinect will work just as well.
Sounds like quite the complex set up but what a great end result! Being able to interact in this manner with an animatronic humanoid robot is pretty damn cool. I'll be sure to keep you posted with any new details regarding this exciting project as more details become available.