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November 16, 2010 AT 5:52 pm

HOW TO TUESDAY – DIY Kinect Hacking, reverse engineer USB!

Kinect-2

Beagleend T

Control4

Everyone has seen the Xbox 360 Kinect hacked in a matter of days after our “open source driver” bounty – here’s how we helped the winner and here’s how you can reverse engineer USB devices as well!

USB is a very complex protocol, must more complicated than Serial or Parallel, SPI and even I2C. USB uses only two wires but they are not used as ‘receive’ and ‘transmit’ like serial. Rather, data is bidirectional and differential – that is the data sent depends on the difference in voltage between the two data lines D+ and D- If you want to do more USB hacking, you’ll need to read Jan Axelson’s USB Complete books, they’re easy to follow and discuss USB in both depth and breadth.

USB is also very structured. This is good for reverse engineering because it means that at least the format of packets is agreed upon and you won’t have to deal with checksums. The bad news is it imeans you have to have software assistance to decode the complex packet structure but that’s not so bad because every computer now made has a USB host core, that does a lot of the tough work for you, and there are many software libraries to assist.

Today we’re going to be reverse engineering the Xbox Kinect Motor, one part of the Kinect device.

Read more and get your hack on!


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2 Comments

  1. Thanks guys.. You rock! You have helped create a lot of buzz for open source hardware and the initiative to interface with Kinect has proven highly successful.

    KEEP ROCKING!!

  2. It’s nice to know that it has an accelerometer. This is starting to look like a nice piece of hardware that component wise that would cost more for the hacker/maker than the price of the Kinect.

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