Using of Low-Cost 3D Cameras to Control Interactive Exhibits in Science Centre

3D cameras (Kinect, Creative gesture camera) acquiring both RGB image and depth map are the objects of growing interests in robotics. Their compatibility with popular open source libraries (OpenNI, OpenCV, Intel PCSDK) allows creation of a robotic visual system which is cheap but powerful enough to solve many challenging computer vision problems. We created a sitting robot (interactive statue) with such a visual system for the entertainment of visitors in the Steel Park science centre in Kosice. Interactive statue tracks the face of the closest visitor and analyses his or her emotions (smile, closed eyes). Reaction to the detected emotion is the movement of the head and the arms by servo motors. In other exposition we used a Kinect camera which recognizes the colour of the visitor’s clothes and evaluates its similarity with the reference colour of a safety cloak. Only visitors wearing the safety cloak are displayed on the background picture of the factory, the others are hidden. Calibrated Kinect/Projector system is used for the augmented reality sandbox which is lit by the projector by specific height-dependent colour, following the change of terrain altitude in the real time.