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British Kinect Developers Scoop Top Engineering Award

June 20th, 2011 by

British Engineers have been recognised for their part in the success of the record breaking Xbox Kinect.

The best of British Engineering and Computer Science has been recognized by the Royal Academy of Engineers this month. A Cambridge based team from Microsoft Research were awarded the UK’s highest innovation prize, the £50,000 MacRobert Award for their work in creating Microsoft Kinect.

From left, Toby Sharp, Dr Jamie Shotton, Dr Andrew Fitzgibbon, Professor Andrew Blake and Mat Cook

Answering a call for help from their colleagues in the US way back in September 2008, the Cambridge team, lead by Professor Andrew Blake applied ‘machine learning’ techniques for the system. Previous endeavors from the Laboratory on the recognition of objects in photographs have enabled them to engineer analysis of depth images efficiently enough for it to only use a minimal amount of computing capacity.

John Robinson FREng, Chairman of the MacRobert judging panel, said: “Everything about Microsoft Research’s Kinect project makes it a worthy winner of this prestigious award. Yet again, British engineers have solved a seemingly intractable problem that stumped the rest of the world.”

“Professor Blake and his team have taken Kinect from a first speculative idea to a retail product in just two years and their technical knowledge and achievements are quite outstanding. This is world-beating engineering by a world-leading team based in the UK. Everybody thinks Microsoft is American – but this superb engineering was done by British engineers at their lab in Cambridge. As a British engineer, I feel proud of them.”

Managing Director Professor Andrew Blake

Professor Blake said: “On behalf of the entire team, we are absolutely delighted to receive the MacRobert Award. We were certainly up against stiff competition and I commend our fellow finalists for their excellent entries.”
“For our work on machine learning for Kinect, and indeed the field of computer science, to be recognised by the top engineering award in the UK, makes us very proud. I would like to thank the team involved at Microsoft Research, our colleagues in the Xbox team at Microsoft, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, for making it possible for us to receive this prestigious honour.”
Other finalists for the award included Defence Science for their Ceramic Armour, Radio Design for Cellular Network Sharing and Jaguar Cars for their XJ Lightweight vehicle.

Everyone here at Midlifegamer.net would like to congratulate the team on this prestigious award and receiving the recognition that you deserve…and for going Balls Deep!

Microsoft have released The Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) Starter kit which is free for non commercial use. If you’ve got Windows 7 and a Kinect Sensor, why not see what you can do…who knows, perhaps you could be an award winning engineer shaping games for the future?

Download it here: Kinect Windows SDK

Source: THE IET

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