Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kinect Interaction with Python

SOFTWARE IS THE NEW HARDWARE, WEB IS THE NEW SOFTWARE
The following instructions apply to Ubuntu 12.10 64bit. Similar commands should work on other distributions but  I personally am running Ubuntu.

Run the following apt-get command to get the necessary packages for building libfreenect
sudo apt-get install gcc g++ ffmpeg libxi-dev libxu-dev freeglut3 freeglut3-dev cmake git 

Once that is done, go to your personal project directory (I keep all my personal projects in ~/proj) and clone the latest libfreenect software 
cd ~/proj
git clone http://www.github.com/OpenKinect/libfreenect
mkdir libfreenect/build
cd libfreenect/build
cmake ../CMakeLists.txt

WE ARE DEMO
Now that the core library has been built, it is demo time! Make sure your Kinect is connected to your PC and powered on, then run the following commands
cd libfreenect/bin
sudo ./glview

You should see an image that looks something like this:


CONAN THE LIBRARIAN
Next you will need to add the libfreenect libraries to your library path. I prefer to do this by adding symlinks to /usr/local/bin, but you could also add libfreenect/lib directly to LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
sudo ln -s libfreenect/lib/libfreenect.so.0.1.2 /usr/local/lib/libfreenect.so{,.0.1}
sudo ln -s libfreenect/lib/libfreenect_sync.so.0.1.2 /usr/local/lib/libfreenect_sync.so{,.0.1}
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/lib

You might wish to put the export line in ~/.bashrc, so that the libfreenect libraries are always on the right path when a terminal is initialized.

PARAPPA THE WRAPPER(S)
To install the python wrappers and run the demo, we will need to also install opencv and the opencv python wrappers. Run the following command:
sudo apt-get install python-dev build-essential libavformat-dev ffmpeg libcv2.3 libcvaux2.3 libhighgui2.3 python-opencv opencv-doc libcv-dev libcvaux-dev libhighgui-dev

Now to install the python wrappers to the libfreenect libraries
cd libfreenect/wrappers
sudo python setup.py install 

It is time to get the python demo, and prove that we can run it!
cd ~/proj
git clone http://www.github.com/amiller/libfreenect-goodies
cd libfreenect-goodies

Edit the demo_freenect.py file, changing the line
cv.ShowImage('both',np.array(da[::2,::2,::-1]))
to now say 
cv.ShowImage('both',cv.fromarray(np.array(da[::2,::2,::-1]))

PYTHONIC PYTHARSIS
Once you are done editing the file, run the demo by doing  
sudo python demo_freenect.py

If you are successful, you should see a screen like this:

If you see an image like the above - congratulations, you're now Kinect hacking with Python! I hope to expand on this exploration soon with code demos, doing different cool things and further exploring the hardware, but this is an excellent start. For any questions, just leave a comment below and I will try to get back to you!

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