Kinect-Based Robot Controls: Kinda Like Having Your Own Na'vi Avatar

Since being hacked a few weeks back, there's nearly been a notable re-appropriation of Microsoft's gesture-based Kinect hardware every day. Today is no exception: a robotics firm called Willow Garage can now control a humanoid robot using Kinect.

Fast Company says that the Kinect hardware is combined with Willow Garage's own PR2 Robot, which is powered by the open source Robot Operating System (ROS). And the Kinect makes a pretty good controller, as you can see what the robot sees through its head-mounted camera, and then move freely as Kinect keeps you in its crosshairs. Its still a little rough around the edges obviously, so you won't be forging neural links with giant, predatory birds quite yet. But it's a start. And a good one at that. [Fast Company]