Engineering students use Xbox Kinect for rescue robot

Engineering students use gaming device to enhance rescue robot

Engineering students at the University of Warwick are looking for funding to defend their European RoboCup Rescue Championship title and enter the world finals with a robot that uses the Xbox Kinect to navigate.

The students are trialling the XBox Kinect to see if they can use it for real-time visual communication and 3D mapping, which will ultimately aid in the navigation of the autonomous robot to give the team an edge over the competition. If successful, the team could save thousands of pounds by modifying off-the-shelf technology instead of buying more expensive sensors and control systems.

Last year's team developed a robot to crawl over difficult terrain such as destroyed buildings in search of trapped survivors. This robot won first place overall and best in class for mobility at the European championship in Germany.

The current Warwick Mobile Robotics team of seven students have set their sights on a win at the Robocup Rescue World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. They need about £20,000 to pay for new robot components plus travel costs for both Championships, and are looking for sponsors.

Plans are already afoot to enhance last year's robot by improving the human-machine interface, increasing manoeuvrability and designing an arm with added manipulator to carry supplies to trapped survivors.

Watch the video at www.EandTmagazine.com/videos

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