View Full Version : Using Kinect to make human marionettes

April 16th, 2011, 14:04
[Choi Ka Fai] has been experimenting with neurostimulation for some time now (http://www.kinect-hacks.com/kinect-hacks/2011/04/11/kinect-electric-nerve-stimulation-test). His body of work has focused on exploring the possibility of using neurostim devices to replay pre-recorded muscle movements.
Until now, he has been recording his muscle movements as acoustic waveforms (http://www.ka5.info/prospectus.html) for real-time playback in the bodies of his research partners. This usually requires him to sit beside the subject, tethered to a machine. This tends to limit his movement, so he has invested in a new form of movement recording technology – a Kinect sensor.
Using fairly standard skeleton tracking as we have seen in some previous Kinect hacks, he has enabled himself to direct the motion of his subject by merely moving in front of the camera. The benefit of using the Kinect over wired sensors is that he can use any body part to direct his partner’s movements by simply changing how the software interprets his actions. As you can see in the video below, he uses his hands, knees, and even his head to direct the motion of his partner’s arm.
It really is a neat application of the Kinect, and we are totally digging the shaky “human marionette” effect that it produces. Since this was only an initial test of the system, expect to see some more cool stuff coming from [Choi] in the near future.
Stick around to see a quick video of the Kinect-driven neurostim rig in action.