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RomoCart turns your living room into a video game

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Looking for something new to do with your iPhone-powered Romo robot? Well, you could always use it to turn your living room into a race track. Ken Kawamoto and Tomoaki Akitomi have paired the remote controlled phone-charger with a pico projector and an RGB depth sensor to turn their living room into an augmented reality video game -- a two-car racer inspired by Mario Kart. RemoCart, as it's called, isn't a particularly fast paced racer (the Romo is pretty slow), but it has all the hallmarks of the classic Nintendo game: cars, a race track and special items and weapons that can turn the tide mid-race.

Despite taking its name from the Kickstarter-sourced robot, RomoCart's magic is mostly handled by its projector and depth camera. Not only does the RGBD camera keep track of the player's Remos, it also maps out solid objects in the play area. This data is used to automatically create a race track on the floor's open space. The projector also animates items on the play field, which can interrupt player control of the Remo to create the effect of being "hit" with a weapon. It's a neat project, but right now it's also unavailable -- but the team promises to release the source code as soon as it can "find the time."

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