Real-Time High Resolution 3D Depth Sensing Enters the Next Round

For several years Nerian has been successfully demonstrating the practicality of stereo vision in industrial environments with its SP1, SceneScan and SceneScan Pro stereo vision systems. With the new Scarlet 3D depth camera, Nerian is presenting what is currently the fastest stereo vision and 3D depth camera available and with one of the highest image resolutions on the market.

Scarlet combines a 3D stereo camera and image processing system in one device. Whether for static environments, or hard and critical real-time applications in dynamic environments, the Scarlet 3D stereo camera delivers exactly the image and depth data needed for a wide range of machine vision applications.

With up to 120 fps and over 70 million 3D points per second, Scarlet offers the fastest 3D measurement rate in machine vision. In addition, Scarlet achieves an excellent resolution of up to 5 megapixels in the camera and depth image. Furthermore, Scarlet can process twice as large a disparity range (512 pixels) as SceneScan Pro, resulting in a doubling of the depth resolution allowing even more precise 3D measurement results can be achieved.

As with Nerian’s SceneScan stereo vision sensor, the image data is processed in real time using a powerful FPGA and its advanced stereo algorithm. The processing result is a sub-pixel accurate disparity map (an inverse depth image), which is transmitted via 1 or 10 Gigabit Ethernet to a computer or embedded system. Post-processing of the data also includes detection of erroneous disparities and noise reduction. Nerian’s open-source and cross-platform API also converts this disparity map into a dense 3D point cloud.

All of this is made possible by the integration of a high-performance FPGA and the second generation Sony Pregius IMX250 image sensor, which has both a particularly high dynamic range (73 dB) and high quantum efficiency (67%), with a pixel size of 3.45 μm.

In addition, an extremely fast inertial sensor (IMU) has been integrated into Scarlet, which captures motion data at up to 400 Hz. Inertial data is particularly valuable for applications in mobile robotics, such as simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM). Scarlet eliminates the need for a separate IMU. Automatic recalibration ensures the system’s functionality even under mechanical stress and a long period of operation.

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