Spelunking with the Kinect in a virtual grotto and CAVE

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Today's inspirational project provides a unique usage of the Kinect and using it as an virtual exploration device...

Virtual grotto exploration using Kinect in a CAVE

For our archeology department at the university of Groningen, we made this 3D stereo reconstruction of an excavation in Crustumerium, an Iron Age settlement in Italy (800-450 BC).

The visualization you see in the movie was done in our CAVE, a cubic space with stereo imagery on three sides and the floor. We added a virtual flashlight which appears to be positioned exactly at a users hand (which is tracked using a kinect). In the movie it seems that the position of the flashlight is way off, but seen from the perspective of the user, it follows exactly the hand position.

It is kind of a cave in the CAVE.

For the archeologists, the excavation was a one time event, and the dig is buried under sand again. The virtual version allows them to explore it again and has the extra benefit that the room isn't hot and muddy.

During the scan most found objects were already removed, but you can still see some skeletons. In a future version the objects will be added as virtual objects to this visualisation.

Project Information URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S5yxHAQwiw

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