Help Teach Robots to See

Swedish researchers are hoping to create a visual dictionary for improving the overall ability of robots. But, this cannot be done alone. They might need your assistance, if you have got Kinect. Kinect is a motion sensing device for playing games and it is from Microsoft.

Robots are pretty smart and they can store information and process very quickly. Unlike humans, they cannot walk on the earth and they have little knowledge of the common objects.

For instance, how heavy is a mobile phone? Humans can size it easily and make decent estimate. However, humans can recognize and differentiate things easily, but for a robot, it can be anything.

A project by name Kinect@Home is led by Alper Aydemir at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Aydemir thinks that by outsourcing the knowledge to humans, robots can develop better idea about their surroundings. To end that, Aydemir has started database for 3D models of daily objects like shoes and book, captured with cost effective Kinect.

Kinect from Microsoft is normally an accessory for Xbox 360, which can detect movements and positions of players in 3D format. However, it is a cheaper way for the computer to give vision with deep perception. Robots can also use the data and compare things before making a match.

Aydemir has started the project this week and he’s hoping for many to contribute and the database will be used very widely. In this way, people will get easy access for the improving the 3-D modelling techniques and at the same time, researchers will also gain insights to the works.

You can also browse 3D objects in gallery from guitars to people and you can even submit on your own.

Users are allowed to choose the images to be private where the Kinect@Home group can see them or they can allow 3D images for getting published on Kinect@Home website. Images can be posted anonymously.

Kinect can produce accurate models and it is advised to keep moving slowly and also keep object with in short distance from the device.

If you feel like helping out, then there is a link to download and also a browser plug-in at the project web page.

Kinect works with new Windows 8 and the present Windows 7 version. You can also click the “make recording” option to help the robot to become wiser about the world. Till now, Microsoft has retailed more than eighteen million peripherals across the globe.

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