March 30, 2011 at 2:32 PM ET
Looks like researchers at MIT and the University of Washington are busy signing over humanity's future to our robot overlords.
Yeah, it seems the brainiacs at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and UW's Robotics and States Estimation Laboratory have gone and attached Microsoft's motion controller to a freakin' helicopter. Ok, a very small helicopter (a "quadrotor" if you want to get nitpicky about it).
As they explain in great geeky detail on their webpage, they "have developed a real-time visual odometry system that can use a Kinect to provide fast and accurate estimates of a vehicle's 3D trajectory" all of which enables "fully autonomous 3D flight in unknown GPS-denied environments."
Blah bla bla. The important thing is, now this mechanical marvel can navigate around a room all on its own. Look ... see for yourself:
Sadly, this isn't the only Kinect-controlled 'copter on the scene. Back in December the folks at the Hybrid Systems Lab at UC Berkeley used the game controller to get their own mini-helicopter in the air.
Personally, I'd love to see these two gadgets duke it out in an airborne battle to the death. But I have a feeling that, instead, they'll soon be corralling us soft, squishy land mammals into cages. Next stop: The Human Battery Farm.
That's right, you start here:
And you wind up here:
Thanks robotics nerds. Thanks a lot.
(And thanks to The Escapist for the heads up.)
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