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Did I break my Kinect sensor? - Printable Version

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Did I break my Kinect sensor? - easygoer - 01-05-2012 04:53 AM

Happy New Year to everyone!

I just got the XBox 360 for my kids and setup the kinect sensor for them. And of course, like usual didn't read the manual before hooking up everything! So when I placed the sensor on our entertainment cabinet it seemed like it was looking straight ahead instead of being angled slightly up and so I physically forced the sensor up! To my horror, instead of expecting a smooth glide of the sensor on the pivot it made an awful click and I immediately realized something was terribly wrong with what I had done. I look at the manual now which clearly says not to manually adjust the sensor.

Anyway, everything is working fine and the sensor does seem to be moving up and down fine by itself. I am just wondering if anyone thinks that I may have broken the sensor or gear mechanism inside since it made that clicking sound? Also, my sensor has a slight play on the pivot, meaning I can passively move the sensor about 1/4 inch up and down so that it appears slightly loose. Is this normal? I am wondering if this play came about because I may have broken something inside. Can someone check their kinect and see if this looseness of the sensor head is normal? I hate to be making a big deal about this, but having spent $200 on this gizmo and then some for games, I kinda feel like an idiot, not having read the manual. Thanks in advance.


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - dirtyvu - 01-05-2012 05:54 AM

do not physically adjust your kinect anymore!!! Smile

it should be fine. the kinect is pretty durable. just don't do it anymore. there is always some minor give but as long as the kinect can still tilt and can still see you and works in games, you're fine.

in the kinect tuner, you can adjust the kinect's angle by selecting "tilt up" or "tilt down".


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - easygoer - 01-05-2012 07:07 AM

Thanks, I appreciate it.


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - Jersmall - 01-05-2012 08:20 PM

(01-05-2012 04:53 AM)easygoer Wrote:  Happy New Year to everyone!

I just got the XBox 360 for my kids and setup the kinect sensor for them. And of course, like usual didn't read the manual before hooking up everything! So when I placed the sensor on our entertainment cabinet it seemed like it was looking straight ahead instead of being angled slightly up and so I physically forced the sensor up! To my horror, instead of expecting a smooth glide of the sensor on the pivot it made an awful click and I immediately realized something was terribly wrong with what I had done. I look at the manual now which clearly says not to manually adjust the sensor.

Anyway, everything is working fine and the sensor does seem to be moving up and down fine by itself. I am just wondering if anyone thinks that I may have broken the sensor or gear mechanism inside since it made that clicking sound? Also, my sensor has a slight play on the pivot, meaning I can passively move the sensor about 1/4 inch up and down so that it appears slightly loose. Is this normal? I am wondering if this play came about because I may have broken something inside. Can someone check their kinect and see if this looseness of the sensor head is normal? I hate to be making a big deal about this, but having spent $200 on this gizmo and then some for games, I kinda feel like an idiot, not having read the manual. Thanks in advance.

i did the same thing when i first got it, i tried to adjust it myself and it did the clicking sounds.

it still works fine, itsjust the plastic gears slipping.


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - easygoer - 01-05-2012 08:24 PM

Great thanks! Makes me feel better. Does you kinect sensor have a slight amount of up and down play on the pivot?


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - Jersmall - 01-05-2012 10:17 PM

(01-05-2012 08:24 PM)easygoer Wrote:  Great thanks! Makes me feel better. Does you kinect sensor have a slight amount of up and down play on the pivot?

yes it does even while its off right now and its worked 100% perfect.

i wouldn't worry at all its not broken.


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - bakkoltd - 04-22-2012 09:58 PM

Hello! I did the same mistake as Jersmall and easygoer - tilting by hand. My sensor also has slight movement . Something about a quarter of an inch up and down. Jersmall says, that this is normal, but he also tilted the sensor by hand.

So my question is: Would please someone, who hasn't tilted the sensor by hand, check if his kinect also has a little movement? Thanks in advance!!!


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - dirtyvu - 04-22-2012 11:59 PM

guys, don't worry about! if your kinect works, it works. a little give is normal. now if the give is an inch, then worry.


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - Corellianrogue - 04-23-2012 12:01 AM

(04-22-2012 09:58 PM)bakkoltd Wrote:  Hello! I did the same mistake as Jersmall and easygoer - tilting by hand. My sensor also has slight movement . Something about a quarter of an inch up and down. Jersmall says, that this is normal, but he also tilted the sensor by hand.

So my question is: Would please someone, who hasn't tilted the sensor by hand, check if his kinect also has a little movement? Thanks in advance!!!

I just checked mine and it only had a tiny amount of movement, about half a centimetre at most. Is that about quarter of an inch?


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - dirtyvu - 04-23-2012 12:19 AM

a quarter of an inch is about half a centimeter.

here's an old article that talks about the durability of a Kinect.
http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/19/how-microsoft-designed-kinect-to-withstand-gamers-and-lightning-strikes/

the following are only excerpts. refer to link for full text:

At a chip conference yesterday, Microsoft engineers said they deliberately over-designed the Kinect system so that it could withstand anything that consumers could throw at it: hot temperatures, drops, careless shipping, abusive gamers, a sudden loss of power, and even surge protection from lightning strikes. (To be clear, it won’t survive if hit by lightning. But if your house or electrical wires are hit by lightning and the power surges, then Kinect has a chance of surviving).

“You had to test it by dropping it on concrete,” said Yee, who has worked at Microsoft for 12 years and at Intel for a decade before that. “That was the level of robustness.”

Each system has to be calibrated before it ships, but the system also has to be capable of calibrating itself in tests with the user. The requirement for calibration meant that the system had to have a tilt motor which could automatically raise or lower the sensor. With the motor came more requirements for precision manufacturing and reliability. When you turn on Kinect, the first thing the camera does is look for the floor. When it finds the floor, it knows a user won’t be far away.

The system was “over-designed” to be more accurate than necessary because the engineers anticipated future applications that would need the accuracy. Microsoft anticipated people would hack the system and deliberately left the universal serial bus (USB 2.0) open. After shipping Kinect, Microsoft was surprised at the enthusiasm of the hackers who modified the system. Microsoft then shipped a software development kit to allow users to modify systems for their own applications.


here's another article using much the same information. The Kinect is a pretty robust device:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2391389,00.asp

the following are only excerpts. refer to link for full text:

Microsoft's Kinect Designed to Survive Drops, Zaps – and Not Budge a Bit

As part of the testing, Yee said, Microsoft flew around the world and tested the Kinect in user's homes. What they found was that users didn't initially understand how the Kinect worked; instead of moving in place, "some people tried to crawl over their couches to get back," Yee said. "They didn't know how to place the unit."

That, in part, was why the Kinect has a tilt function, which pans and "looks" for the floor. "We put the tilt motor in there to help with user setup," McEldowney said. "Literally out of the box, it looks for the floor. We know that gravity is going to win every single time," which means that it can connect the user to the plane of the floor, to help Kinect measure movement.

Inside the Kinect, two optical sensors make up the heart of the peripheral: an RGB color sensor, and a near infra-red illuminator projector and a depth sensor. The illuminator projects a pattern onto the room, and the way it is offset or distorted helps the Kinect determine depth, part of the way in which it interprets gestures via a PrimeSense-designed chip.

The alignment of the two sensors, however, is critical. The Kinect can't recalibrate itself. Instead, the sensors must remain aligned and tolerate heat, humidity, vibration, shipping, and other factors. The laser couldn't fail.

"We knew it was going to be a toy, knew it was going to be abused," McEldowney said. But if the sensors moved more than a micron out of alignment, it wouldn't work. Within testing, Microsoft dropped the Kinect onto concrete to make sure it would withstand a sharp jar. Other tests included hours in a lightning and surge simulator, he said.

[Image: 0,1458,sz=1&i=267549,00.jpg]


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - Corellianrogue - 04-23-2012 02:45 AM

Quote:Microsoft anticipated people would hack the system and deliberately left the universal serial bus (USB 2.0) open.

Technically that should be Johnny Chung Lee, while working for Microsoft, anticipated Kinect hacking and convinced Microsoft that it would actually be a good thing for Kinect and that they should leave the USB 2.0 open, lol! He also confessed to being the anonymous person who created the contest to hack Kinect and create the first (unofficial PC) drivers.

http://procrastineering.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/windows-drivers-for-kinect.html

Quote:I actually have a secret to share on this topic. When my internal efforts for a driver stalled, I decided to approach AdaFruit to put on the Open Kinect contest. For obvious reasons, I couldn't run the contest myself. Besides, Phil and Limor did a phenomenal job, much better than I could have done. Without a doubt, the contest had a significant impact in raising awareness about the potential for Kinect beyond Xbox gaming both inside and outside the company. Best $3000 I ever spent.



RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - bakkoltd - 04-23-2012 07:43 AM

Thanks guys! Thanks for the replies. I wondered why I was able to find only 2 users here, who did the same mistake, because I anticipated that it is rather common. Now I am relieved :-). I just felt very stupid after forcing the head of my kinect.


RE: Did I break my Kinect sensor? - bakkoltd - 04-23-2012 09:00 AM

Here are some useful pictures with good quality, in which you can see the gears:
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft-Kinect-Teardown/4066/1