A Kinect & Netduino controlled squirt gun
- Posted: Jan 23, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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While we wait on next week's v1 RTM release, we're going to make this an "Inspirational Theme" week, a week to try to get your brain cells firing, a week to inspire dreams and visions of some of what's possible with the Kinect...
The first post of the week comes via Dan Thyer where he shows off how he Kinect enabled his home (and built a Kinect Control Squirt Gun)
Home automation has been an interest of mine for a long time. There is a bunch of bad technology in the marketplace and the products are too expensive so I decided to build my own. I started out with the Arduino microcontroller which was really fun but the code quickly became hard to maintain because it was not object oriented. Additionally it could not do multithreading or real debugging with breakpoints and such. I refactored the code for C# and the .NET Micro Framework. I choose the netduino plus, http://www.netduino.com/netduinoplus/specs.htm, for the microcontroller which has a built in Ethernet adapter for network communication.
One of my colleagues in the office started doing projects with the Microsoft Kinect which has a rich SDK complete with drivers, APIs and plenty of good sample code. The Kinect has a bunch of sensors including a RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone. With a Kinect, you are the controller! I got the idea of using the Kinect for the controller of the squirt gun in the pool. You can now aim the gun by pointing to where you want it to shoot. The trigger is controlled by bending your other arm so that the hand is above the elbow joint. Plugging in the Kinect for the controller was really simple because of the rich Kinect API and because I had already written the back end tiers to communicate with the netduino microcontroller.
Project Information URL: http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/314774/Home-Automation-with-Netduino-and-Kinect