'Ghost' Detector: Anomalous Event Trigger for MS Kinect Point-cloud Recorder


An interesting feature of the Microsoft Kinect depth sensor is the occasional/spurious appearance of 'orbs' in the infra-red camera output.  A number of reports have been made about this, and we have seen them a few times ourselves when working with the device.  Setting aside the heated discussion as to what these 'orbs' are (as they cannot be normally seen by the naked eye), it would be interesting to see how the depth sensor component of the Kinect interprets these anomalies (ie in terms of the resulting point-cloud data).

To this end, we would like you to Design-Build-Test an application that detects orbs in the infra-red camera image, and upon detection, it triggers a recorder, so that the Kinect's point-cloud data output and infra-red video output is captured to disk.

Although the artefact (ie your software) will be a key deliverable, we will also need to see:

  • a requirements specification and plan, developed through background research/study and discussions with your supervisor
  • a detailed and reasoned software design
  • a development plan/log based on the above design
  • a test strategy and log, showing the planned approach to verification and the results of your tests.  As a part of this, you will need to include a method for 'cheating' the Kinect sensor using an infra-red element of a scene that is not in the visible spectrum.

Please make contact with Marc Price if you are interested in this project.

Marc Price
Research Question
How can anomalies in the Kinect 2's infra-red camera output be used to trigger data recorder software for the Kinect 2?
Proposed Primary Research
* Rapid prototyping an application that triggers off-the-shelf Kinect data recorder software.
* Rapid prototyping infra-red / visible spectrum anomaly detection.
* Turning that into a sensible software design, implementing it, and testing it.

Some background and secondary research will be needed on approaches to detecting anomalies of this kind.