Friday, November 1, 2013

Kinect Field Mapping Trial

Just a quick demo of field mapping with a Microsoft Kinect. We set out to test the Kinect outdoors. Luckily, Scott Creek is under a wonderful canopy of Cascade forest, which was good for the Kinect's infrared depth sensor. Check out the video of collecting and processing the data in the field and below is an interactive 3D point cloud. We used Faro Scenect to collect and process the Kinect data. More to come on this later...

You'll need a WebGL enabled browser (Firefox is the best bet, Chrome takes some tweaking)
- Click and drag to rotate, scroll to zoom, right-click to pan.
 

ScottCreek_Proj_PtCloud2 (click to view in 3D)


7 comments:

  1. Very cool! I am planning on doing some field mapping too someday. Can you tell me how you are able to supply power to the Kinect for the duration of the mapping?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Zach,
      We used a 3-cell lithium polymer battery (from a R/C project). The Kinect wall wart supplies 12-volts and a fully changed 3C lipo is 12.4V. I don't remember where I saw it, but I think I read that the Kinect can run on as little as 7V. We had to cut into the power cord to splice in a connector (a little scary), but it worked great.

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  2. Hi James,
    This is really cool! Do have some questions regarding your set-up. It appears you are using AgiSoft PhotoScan to import videos made using the Kinect. Is this the case? If so, could you tell me what the benefit of using videos made using the Kinect are over a traditional video-camera?
    Thanks,
    John

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    Replies
    1. John,
      For this example and the other Kinect stuff we used Scenect for point cloud processing. As far as I know there's no direct way to integrate the Kinect into Photoscan since they're two different 3D data collection methods. The Kinect used an active approach (calibrated pattern projection for the original Kinect and time-of-flight for the newer Kinect). The Kinect uses a fairly weak near-IR projection that only works indoors or in dim outdoor lighting (won't work at all in bright conditions).

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    2. James,
      Thanks for your reply. I've been fiddling around with a Kinect 360. In your videos, it looks like you are importing a .ONI file. I've really struggled getting OpenNI files to export out of the Viewer/Capture and into Scenect. Do you have any suggestions?
      Thanks,
      John

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