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Watch a Microsoft engineer control a Sphero ball using the Kinect v2 for Windows sensor

Watch a Microsoft engineer control a Sphero ball using the Kinect v2 for Windows sensor

As soon as Microsoft unchained its Xbox Kinect sensor and brought it over to Windows, the possibilities were endless as to how and to what purpose the device could be used for. Now in its second iteration, Kinect v2 for Windows is even more accurate and precise, allowing for even more complex applications.

Today we witness another use case that is part of the ‘Kinect Effect’ as Microsoft likes to put it, where the device is utilized to control a Sphero ball using simple hand gestures. Mike Taulty, and engineer at Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Group created a simple JavaScript application to control the robotic toy that is usually controlled using a smartphone or tablet app. With Kinect, Taulty is able to rotate and roll the ball in different directions, check out his demo below.

His application takes advantage of Kinect’s skeletal tracking abilities which can recognize for example when fists are clenched or unclenched, as well as track limb, arm and body movements. If you own a Sphero ball and a Kinect v2 sensor, you can head over to Taulty’s blog here where he provided the JavaScript code required to make all this possible.

In the above video, Microsoft describes the “Kinect Effect” in the rather old but brilliant commercial for the motion sensing device.

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