Object avoidance and wall following using the Kinect
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The range camera in Microsoft's Kinect, intended for the Xbox 360 gaming console, offers a powerful alternative to the many standard sensors used in robotics for gathering spatial information about a robot’s surroundings. The recently-released Kinect is the first commercially available product to provide depth data of its resolution and accuracy with a price tag within reach of many robotics projects. The work described in this paper explores the feasibility of using this sensor by developing a robot that relies solely on the Kinect for sensory data. This robot successfully performs standard navigational procedures, demonstrating the possibility of integrating spatial information from the Kinect into a real-time robotics application. This paper documents the techniques used to integrate the Kinect into the system, highlighting the key benefits and limitations of the sensor.