How the Kinect is out of this world...

Today's inspirational project show just how far the Kinect is going...

Satellites to employ Kinect to dock in space

Microsoft's motion-tracking camera and software is extending further beyond its initial gaming audience, with UK engineers planning to dock a satellite pair by using the Kinect.

Microsoft's motion-tracking camera and software is extending further beyond its initial gaming audience, with UK engineers planning to dock a satellite pair by using the Kinect.

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is developing the STRaND-2 satellites that will take advantage of the Kinect's ability to provide spatial awareness in order to split and dock the pair while in orbit.

Shaun Kenyon, Project Lead at SSTL, said that the company was impressed by a previous project by MIT that used the Kinect to fly an autonomous model helicopter, leading to SSTL's consideration of the technology for space missions.

Project Information URL: http://vr-zone.com/articles/satellites-to-employ-kinect-to-dock-in-space/16063.html#ixzz1wfzEkYiL

Science & Exploration - STRaND-2 docking nanosatellite

Space innovators at the University of Surrey and SSTL are developing STRaND-2, a twin-satellite mission to test a novel in-orbit docking system based on the XBOX Kinect technology.

Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and will utilise components from the XBOX Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes - thus allowing them to dock.

The STRaND team sees the relatively low cost nanosatellites as intelligent "space building blocks" that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft.

Project Information URL: http://www.sstl.co.uk/divisions/earth-observation---science/science---exploration/strand-2-building-blocks-nanosatellite

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