The first step was to develop software for controlling the Kinect from a computer. Adafruit Industries, an open-source electronics company, got the ball rolling by offering a $1,000 reward to the first person who posted a program, also called a driver, online. “It was pretty clear to us Microsoft didn’t have any plans at all to open any parts of the Kinect,” says Limor Fried, Adafruit’s founder. In fact, Microsoft immediately condemned the project, without realizing there was division within its ranks—one of the Kinect’s developers, a computer scientist named Johnny Chung Lee, asked Adafruit to launch the contest, putting up the cash himself.
So when Microsoft threatened lawsuits against anyone tampering with their hardware, Adafruit raised the prize to $3,000. The drivers were online within a week.
Among the vast web of loosely connected individuals working with the technology, Bouffard was one of the first to show off the Kinect’s potential, posting videos of his autonomous flight on YouTube by December.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.