A portable, WiFi-enabled Kinect

The builds using a Kinect as a 3D scanner just keep getting better and better. A team of researchers from the University of Bristol have portablized the Kinect by adding a battery, single board Linux computer, and a WiFi adapter. With their Mobile Kinect project, it’s now a snap to automatically map an environment without lugging a laptop around, or just giving your next mobile robot an awesome vision system.

By making the Kinect portable, [Mike] et al made the Microsoft’s 3D imaging device much more capable than its present task of computing the volumetric space of the inside of a cabinet. The Reconstructme project allows the Kinect to be used as a hand-held 3D scanner and Kintinuous can be used to create a 3D model of entire houses, buildings, or caves.

There’s a lot that can be done with a portabalized, WiFi’d Kinect, and hopefully a few builds replicating the team’s work (except for replacing the Gumstix board with a Raspi) will be showing up on HaD shortly.

Video after the break.


  1. Zee says:

    I thought the Kintinuous was never released to the public.

  2. xorpunk says:

    someone did it with a gumstick a while back and had it on a RC car mapping their house.

  3. justice099 says:

    OK, now someone needs to build those scanners from the Alien: Prometheus movie. Those were freaking sweet.

  4. thehypnotist says:

    only thing that bugged me, is that it would have been nice if they rebuilt the case to house the wifi adapter neatly inside. all of the wires tidied away.

    i do respect and appreciate the build but i felt it was a shame to stop at a prototype appearance.

  5. Jay says:

    This could improve the Google Street view by quite a bit.

  6. Haku says:

    One step closer to having a small unobtrusive wearable device that automatically scans & records your surroundings in 3D wherever you go… :)

  7. hmmm Ok I will upgrade this. I have an extra Pico pc board/system. a 3d printer and a complete machine shop. I think a belt wearable device with video on eyeglasses would be great. and add micro xray etc. and have a complete tricorder lol. at least a reverse engineering system.

  8. xef6 says:

    I just walk around with an asus xtion and a laptop. No extra batteries needed!

  9. Doop says:

    OH! I hate when ppl do that, If you have access to a laser cutter why the h*ll woud you make an ugly plywood box? And the camera lenses would look alot cooler if the holes would be cut to match not in a way that you can see all the other parsts and stuff insede too..

  10. Haku says:

    Makes you wonder where this sort of tech will lead, police forensics could do with this stuff so the first person to a crime scene could document it in 3D before any ‘contamination’ by investigators.

  11. NaYthan says:

    This would be an ideal project for the Carambola from 8devices. It comes with high speed (150MBit/s) WiFi on board. It’s cheap and could easily handle streaming the data to a host PC for processing (or store it on a USB thumb drive for later processing).

  12. ReNa says:

    Is it possible to build the mobile kinect with a Raspberry Pi?

  13. Ed Minchau says:

    Combine one of these with something like google glass and you would really have something awesome.

  14. bjbuddy says:

    Is it possible to build the mobile kinect with a Raspberry Pi? I aslo asks the same question?

  15. colin says:

    Love your work so much ! What type of gumstix are you using?

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