ATiny powered Kinect fire cannons for dance Fx

[Paul] is at it again with some kinect controlled fire poofers. You may remember [Paul's] previous shenanigans with the gigantic hand made hydraulic flame-sailed pirate ship.  This time he is building a small flame poofer (possibly a series of poofers) for SOAK, a regional (unaffiliated) Burning Man style festival in Oregon.

Any one who remembers the build will recognize the brains of the new cannons, they are just the pirate ship’s custom ATiny board unceremoniously torn from their previous home and recycled for the new controller. This time though they have Kinect! The build seems to function much like the evil genius simulator by simply using a height threshold to activate each cannon, but [Paul] has plans for the new system. This hardware test uses the closed source OpenNI but will meet its full potential when it is reborn in SkelTrack, which was just released a few weeks ago. The cannons are going to go around a small single person dance floor, presumably with the Kinect nearby.

Check out the brief test video after the jump.


  1. kaaaaaaang says:

    This is dangerously awesome.

  2. Paul says:

    Hi, Paul here… the guy mentioned in this article.

    Andy Tibbetts, and a large crew, build that awesome pirate ship. I only helped with the electronics on the fire. Here’s a great video Andy made, for the Boca Bearings Innovation contest (the ship won in March).

    The fire effects start at 3:32 in the video.

  3. Paul says:

    Greg Borenstein also deserves credit. I bought his Making Things See book, which got me up-to-speed on Kinect very quickly. The Processing code in this demo is mostly hacked up examples from Greg’s book.

  4. dreamer says:

    Since when is OpenNI closed source?

  5. Paul says:

    Most of the advanced/interesting features of OpenNI (or “NITE”) are indeed closed source.

  6. mirzu says:

    We are working on something similar: video

    code is here:

    We used this Synapse Kinect to get the data from the Kinect. It turns the skeleton data into OSC messages which was then really easy to work with in Processing.

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