Remember the fun days wherein you, as a kid, would jump and immerse  yourself into a pool of colorful plastic balls? Well, replace the kid with a digital robot and you can experience the joys of a ballpool again. The Kinect Ballpool allows multiple users to take control of playful robots which can interact in a constantly moving ballpool. Hiroyuki Funaya showcases this Kinect program by displaying users using the Kinect Ballpool.  Using their hands, users manipulate the movements of two 2 robot avatars. An array of colorful balls ranging from different sizes fall from the sky. The users can interact with these balls and do whatever their child-like personalities can think of. Playing catch, tossing the balls and even running through the ballpool is a possibility thanks to the Kinect Ballpool program.

Here is a description of the Kinect Ballpool:

“The robots are like puppets. Imaginary rubber-like strings are tied to robot joints on one side and imaginary joints on the other side. Then, the imaginary joints are tied to the skeleton rendered by the OpenNI library.

Almost all the codes are written in C++; the “physical world” is created with Box2D, and rendered with OpenGL. The characters and title are designed with inkscape and then converted into C++ codes with some python script.”

For more information about the Kinect Ballpool, visit the project’s Vimeo Page.

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