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Computer Science Department

Interfacing a Robotic Arm through Kinect Software

Derek Davis

My project is a robotic arm that is controlled by using a Microsoft Kinect. This robot is designed to be an entry-level step to create remote-controlled robots for a sterile environment. The project consists of three major parts: the robot’s construction, the robot’s programming, and programming for the Kinect interface. The construction of the robot is meant to resemble a human with a shoulder joint, a bicep/tricep and tendon elbow joint, and claw that can opened and closed. The Kinect interface displays a square, a circle, a rectangle, and an oval which represent the user’s right hand, wrist, elbow, and should respectively. The Kinect uses skeletal tracking to recognize three distinct gestures. When the user points their arm straight out to their or bends it at a 90° angle up or down the Kinect will send a corresponding byte to the robot’s microcontroller. From there, the robot will move to match the user’s arm position. The interface also displays two buttons for opening and closing the claw to be controlled with the user’s left hand.