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Kinect connects for mangroves research

6 Août 2014 , Rédigé par Bioécologie Publié dans #Matériels et Méthodes

Here is a video and press release about the recent Methods paper, ‘Investigating three-dimensional meso-scale habitat complexity and its ecological implications using low-cost RGB-D sensor technology‘, taken from Griffith University.

Motion sensing technology, best known in computer games, is vastly improving Queensland scientists’ ability to quantify habitat complexity in mangroves.

The Kinect line of devices developed by Microsoft for Xbox consoles and Windows PCs is marrying gaming technology with ecological research to deliver precise three-dimensional data in greater efficiency and at a fraction of the cost of current imaging techniques.

At Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute (ARI) on the Gold Coast, Professor Joe Lee, Dr Jan Warnken and Higher Degree Research student Ms Shafagh Kamal have beenusing the Kinect scanner in and around mangrove root systems for the past nine months.

In gaming, Kinect technology allows users to control and interact with their console or computer without a game controller. Dr Warnken was contemplating his son’s fascination with the computer game Minecraft when he recognised the potential for voxel-based 3D gaming technology and the Kinect to aid the ARI team’s research.

“Mangroves are nursery sites for small animals such as fish and crustaceans and they are also important in ameliorating the effects of storms and tsunamis. These ecosystem services are all related to the structural complexity of mangroves, but there has been no easy method to measure this complexity to date,” says Professor Lee.

“Ours is the first low-cost method for measuring something that has troubled ecologists for a long time, namely how to quantify three-dimensional habitat complexity and then relate that information to the ecology of the inhabitants.

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