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January 9, 2011 AT 4:32 pm

Using the hacked Kinect with Scratch (programming for kids!)

Using the hacked Kinect with Scratch (programming for kids!)… Stephen writes –

The Kinect is a great add-on for the XBox 360. Many people had their doubts, and although core gamers will decry the Kinect, it can be really good fun to play around with. Literally, you are the controller. There has been some interest in hacking the Kinect to work with computers other than the XBox, and there are drivers available now to use with Windows, MacOSX and Linux.
I became interested in coding Processing to work with the Kinect, but soon became disheartened when it appeared that bone data (or joint positions) were not readily available, instead only 3D depth data (cool but not enough) was readable.  

Then I found the OpenNI drivers (see links below) and the OSC server from Sensebloom. They were able to send joint data encoded as OSC commands to Processing, and I wrote up my own little Processing receiver to test it. It worked so well, I delved into their C++ code to see if I could send the same data to Scratch.

When I couldn’t see a way for Scratch to interpret the OSC code, I read about the remote sensing over the network that Scratch allows. This was perfect; I could send Scratch commands from a C program which was reading joint data from the Kinect.

So after making a few Scratch proof-of-concept games to test it, I decided to release it all for you guys to test out.


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