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Need an Expert Opinion on Kinect

asked 2012-12-08 23:38:56 -0500

Neo gravatar image

updated 2016-10-24 09:03:12 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image

Hi I am going to buy a Microsoft Kinect for the following reasons & Purposes

  1. It is Cheap
  2. i need to do some series of experiments using it with iRobot Create.
  3. these experiments include Localization Algorithms like SLAM , Particle Filters etc.
  4. for these reasons i need to get the range data from the Environment

So here is my Question

  1. Is Kinect alone enough to sense range data or can it even take range data.

  2. I have done some search over Google and i see people at MIT and others using Kinect with Laser Range finders.

So tell me if its enough alone as a sensing device for range data or do i need something else with it Note:Buying a Laser range finder is not possible for me as it costs more than 1000$

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answered 2012-12-09 00:09:15 -0500

Ben_S gravatar image

While the Kinect is a great sensor it has some serious drawbacks that need to be considered when it has to act as the only source of range data.

  • The Kinect does not work well in bright Sunlight, as there is too much IR light comming in.
  • Especially when using for fake-laser data the field of view is very small (only about 60 degree). So there have to be enough depth features and no clean walls, otherwise the scanmatching becomes very inaccurate.
  • At ranges higher than about 2.5 meters the depth resolution becomes quite rough and the noise in measurements increases significantly.

If you can prepare your environment according to these points it might work well. However some algorithms that purely rely on high fov laser data like for example Hector SLAM will most likely still perform poor.

I suggest you read some of the questions and answers here to the topics of Kinect and fake laser. That will give you a good impression of the problems and limitations that will arise.

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Asked: 2012-12-08 23:38:56 -0500

Seen: 172 times

Last updated: Dec 09 '12