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Quadrocopter Controlled by Kinect: The Next Step for Motion Sensor Games?

by Debbie Clarke

First there was the Nintendo Wii revolutionising console game play with it’s motion sensing controller, never before had game players been so involved with the action, until of course Microsoft released it’s Kinect for the Xbox 360. Removing the need for the controller all together the kinect senses the movements of the player and thus the player becomes the controller allowing for complete engagement with the game play.

Although the concept itself is a brilliant one, good Kinect games are currently thin on the ground. It seems the release of the Kinect has so far opened up another avenue for more fitness games and little else. What is exciting however are the numerous Kinect hacks being developed by researchers, geeks and gamers alike and this recent one from the Flying Machine Arena is no exception!

Using arm gestures the user can control the Quadrocopters movements commanding it to fly around the room using their right hand and prompting fancy flips with the left. The hack works by sensing the joint locations of both the user and the Copter and mapping a series of movements to the users gestures. There is also a no fly zone created by the over head cameras making a safe environment for the user to stand in. To put it simply, combining the motion sensing capabilities of the Kinect and the precision flying ability of the Qaudrotor gives the user something akin to Jedi powers and that is just cool! But it seems flying is not the only thing these little Quadrocopters are good at as here they can be seen to hold their own in a game of tennis:

Could this then be the future of game play? Who knows! Although there is still obviously a lot of development to be done and new Kinect hacks are emerging all the time, watching this video I just can’t help but picture a day where game players across the globe are standing in there living rooms lifting objects with the “Force” or playing a game of tennis with a flying tennis racket! It’s hard to tell what the futre holds for games consoles but I think it is safe to say there are exciting times ahead…

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