[ros-users] Preliminary Kinect for Windows and near mode support in libfreenect

René Wagner rwagner at informatik.uni-bremen.de
Wed Mar 28 16:22:06 UTC 2012

[Apologies for cross-posting; I hope this is of interest to fellow
  open-source minded roboticists]

Hi all,

libfreenect recently gained preliminary support for the new Kinect for
Windows (K4W) device and I've got near mode to work as well now. In my
tests the K4W was able to detect objects as close as 32cm in front of
the sensor in near mode (compared to ~55cm in default mode).

My code is available on github:


Thanks go to Drew Fisher for his initial K4W reverse engineering efforts
(also on github [1]) and to dxli and nneonneo for their initial work on
near mode support [2]. Currently, only the RGB, IR, and depth streams
are supported. The API _will_ (most likely) have to _change_ to
accommodate differences in how the remaining (audio, motor) hardware is
wired up in the K4W. These anticipated API changes are the reason why
the code isn't in the main OpenKinect repository yet.

Since the code resides in a separate branch, the checkout is a little
more involved than usual:

    $ git clone git://github.com/renewagner/libfreenect.git
    $ cd libfreenect/
    $ git checkout -b k4w-wip origin/k4w-wip

Near mode can be enabled in the included glview viewer by pressing the
'n' key or by calling

    freenect_set_range_mode(f_dev, FREENECT_RANGE_NEAR_MODE);

in your own code when the depth stream is running.

I'm currently using libfreenect directly, so I haven't investigated ROS 
or PCL integration, but I hope this will be useful nonetheless.



[1] https://github.com/zarvox/libfreenect/tree/k4w-wip
[2] https://github.com/OpenKinect/libfreenect/issues/274

Dipl.-Inf. René Wagner
Real-Time Computer Vision Group
University of Bremen

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