Physicists use Kinect to Control Holographic Laser Tweezers
Posted on: 11/08/2012 10:22 PM

First of all, you probably have no idea what laser tweezers are (I didn't). Laser tweezers are devices that allow for manipulation of very small objects; cells and tiny organisms and stuff. A laser beam is projected towards a target, but is split into three separate beams before reaching it. The three beams are broadcast onto the edges of the object, and as the beams are moved the object moves.

Unfortunately, fine tuning the control of the laser tweezers is not so good, so scientists have been looking for alternative means. This Scottish university's team figured out a way to use a Microsoft Kinect with the tweezers and then demonstrated an ability to move microscopic sized objects by moving their hands around in the air. The incredible new technology has been called 'HoloHands'.

(one YouTube commenter joked "handy for removing unwanted holographic optical hairs´╗┐")

The connect has been used in lots of other cool stuff besides the video games it was intended for. But, theres a problem. The Kinect device is not precise enough to capture subtle movements, is pretty error prone, and doesn't allow for force-feedback. Its pretty pointless for serious research work. Instead, they envision it being used as a tool for educational purposes, either as a tool, or implemented as a learning game. So basically, its totally lame until the motion sensing technology gets better.

Learn more by reading their official research paper here: [1211.0220] HoloHands: Kinect Control of Optical Tweezers

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