Thanks to my recent studying with Rob Miles, I have become addicted with the .NET Micro Framework with a particular interest in building robots.

Luckily for me, I get my fix every Tuesday and Thursday at university with his very own Electronics and Interfacing module. If you’re looking for a module to take in your second year, I highly recommend this one!

So to the point, today I came up with an idea to use the Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor, with the Kinect for Windows SDK, to control a .NET Micro Framework robot by sending voice commands to it via a serial connection.

To get started with the Kinect, I ported some code that I had previously written for a .NET Micro Framework remote controller and dropped it into a console application which takes advantage of the Kinect’s microphone to detect phrases. If I say “Move Forward”, the sensor picks this up and sends a command to the robot to make it move forward. At the moment, the commands are very limited but it is possible to expand it.

Currently I can tell my robot to “Move Forward”, “Move Backward”, “Turn Left”, “Turn Right”, “Stop” and “Check Temp” which all do what they say on the tin.

Here is the little console application in action.

Now let’s see how far we can take this…

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