Kinect Hack Helps With Robotic Surgeries
Researchers say the Kinect is the perfect device for assisting in robotic surgeries, because it's already programmed to measure and map 3-D environments by using infrared light reflected off surfaces. And, most importantly, it costs only $150 -- pocket change in the medical device world. Fredrik Ryden, one of the students involved, said this project could have cost upwards of $50,000 without the Kinect.
While this research is pretty amazing, the Kinect isn't ready for the O.R. just yet. First, the researchers need to upgrade the Kinect's built-in cameras and scale down its sensors to focus on a smaller area, since the device is programmed to scan an entire room. That could take some time to accomplish. Still, Ryden and his colleagues already have their eyes on another UW student's surgical robot, which they hope to integrate with the feedback system soon. Surgeons might want to start brushing up on their gaming skills now.