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BoxingBots Debuted: Think Real Steel But With a Kinect

SXSW is underway now and Microsoft’s Coding4Fun team took the opportunity to debut BoxingBots. There’s 2 six foot robots that are powered by two Kinect’s . As they note:

Each robot has
  • 1 On-board laptop PC
  • 70 programmatic LEDs in the head and chest controlled by a Phidgets LED controller board
  • 2 2.5 gallon tanks of compressed air @ 150 PSI
  • 8 12-volt 17amp batteries
  • 2 Roboteq motor controllers that power the four omni-directional wheels
  • 2 5" stroke cylinders that punches/retracts the arms
  • 1 6′ stroke cylinder that lifts the head when the robot is knocked out
  • 2 button switches on the chest that are triggered by punches and a Phidget 8/8/8 interface board that controls the relays and buttons switches
How gameplay happens
  • Each robot’s on-board PC receive commands over the network from the Admin PC for movement, punches, score, etc
  • Each player stands in front of a Kinect for Windows-enabled PC that interprets their gestures (punch, move in a direction, strafe, rotate) and sends that as a command to the Admin PC
  • The Admin PC manages the game, including pausing, reset, starting, sending commands to the robots and receiving damage data from the robots when the robot has been punched

Check out this video of it in action:

Ok so it’s not quite Real Steel but it’s a start and it’s pretty cool.  Kinect is ready – it’s more a question of the robots getting up to par.