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Changing elevation while skeleton tracking with kinect for windows RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    When using the kinect explorer sample, I've found that I can't change the elevation while maintaining the skeleton tracking - change the elevation and the whole depth image disappears temporarily.  I can do this if I plug in the old 360 version, so it's not a problem with the Explorer software.  This is a real pain for me, because I'm trying to track the user's feet from a position where the kinect can't see the user's head and feet at the same time.

    Of course, this would also be solved if I could set the kinect to only track the user's lower body, but I guess I'll have to wait for a later version of the SDK for that.  :)

    Has anyone else found this?  Is there a work around?  If not, how serious are the problems I'm likely to encounter if I keep using the 360 instead of the new Kinect?

    Thanks

    Steve

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:12 PM

Answers

  • Hi Steve,

    I hit up the Skeletal Tracking and Runtime teams to see if anything can be done.  Your scenario is interesting and we are considering ways to support it if it's possible, but obviously I cannot give any guarantees.

    If you are already looking into a stepper motor solution then I'd say that's your best bet.  I was hesitant to suggest it since you are trying to use our motor but I would say this is the preferred method of a scenario like yours.  I've seen quite a few videos of folks using a Kinect for robotics and the most common use is a mount on their own stepper motor.  If you have the expertise you'll probably want to go that route.

    It's great to see how everyone is using the Kinect SDK.  If you have a video link somewhere I'd love to see an example of the work you are doing.  I like working on this team because it's all about enabling *you* to do something cool.

    Thanks,

    -- Jon

    • Proposed as answer by Jonathan Ward [MSFT] Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:04 PM
    • Marked as answer by mmfwmc Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:05 PM
    Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:11 AM

All replies

  • Hi Steve,

    First of all, thanks for your interest in Kinect For Windows.  What you are describing is by design.  It was found that operating the motor and the IR projector at the same time can decrease the lifetime of the device.  This has to do with power distribution inside the device.  The Kinect For Windows devices include an enhancement to disable the IR projector while the motor is in operation to ensure the longest lifetime possible.

    The change was done at the hardware level and cannot be disabled.  The motor (being a mechanical component) is the most likely point of failure on the device and it's best to limit repeated activation as a normal scenario.

    The use scenario you describe is interesting.  It sounds like you need to get initial tracking enabled using a full subject view and then want to change view to the subject's feet for more detailed information.  I'll pass this scenario by the Runtime and Skeletal Tracking teams to see if there's anything that can be done to work around the loss of depth data during motor movement.

    The second part of your question about using the XBox sensor instead of the Kinect For Windows sensor depends on your end scenario.  I am not a lawyer and wouldn't want to give advice on the EULA requirements in specific; but in general you cannot use an XBox sensor for anything other than personal use and development.

    Thanks,

    -- Jon

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:47 PM
  • Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the quick reply.  We're looking at another couple of options, like mounting the Kinect on a stepper motor (which seems like a waste, but you take what you can get).

    This is for a university research project.  As far as the license goes, when I was using the beta I was ok to use the kinect as long as it was a research project or demo - has this changed?  It's a four year project, so we won't be causing any commercial problems for a while :)

    If you manage to find a work around, then I'm all ears.

    Thanks,

    Steve

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:02 AM
  • Hi Steve,

    I hit up the Skeletal Tracking and Runtime teams to see if anything can be done.  Your scenario is interesting and we are considering ways to support it if it's possible, but obviously I cannot give any guarantees.

    If you are already looking into a stepper motor solution then I'd say that's your best bet.  I was hesitant to suggest it since you are trying to use our motor but I would say this is the preferred method of a scenario like yours.  I've seen quite a few videos of folks using a Kinect for robotics and the most common use is a mount on their own stepper motor.  If you have the expertise you'll probably want to go that route.

    It's great to see how everyone is using the Kinect SDK.  If you have a video link somewhere I'd love to see an example of the work you are doing.  I like working on this team because it's all about enabling *you* to do something cool.

    Thanks,

    -- Jon

    • Proposed as answer by Jonathan Ward [MSFT] Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:04 PM
    • Marked as answer by mmfwmc Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:05 PM
    Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:11 AM
  • Hi Jon,

    Thanks to you and everyone working on the Kinect for all your efforts so far.  It would be great to get a non-hacky solution to the problem eventually (the ability to track just the lower body would be a favourite), but for now we can go with the stepper motor.  It just seemed wrong to be adding a motor to something that was already motorised :).

    Just so you know, we also tried putting the Kinect into portrait mode, but the skeleton doesn't acquire at all.

    As far as examples of the work go, I'll make sure that I post a link here when we have something working.  As well as generally doing something cool, I'm working in geriatric rehabilitation - so you are helping elderly people maintain and improve quality of life too!

    Thanks very much once again,

    Steve

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 7:42 AM