An Overview of Depth Cameras and Range Scanners Based on Time-of-Flight Technologies

Radu Horaud 1 Miles Hansard 2 Georgios Evangelidis 1 Clément Ménier 3
1 PERCEPTION - Interpretation and Modelling of Images and Videos
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LJK - Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann, INPG - Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble
Abstract : Time-of-flight (TOF) cameras are sensors that can measure the depths of scene-points, by illuminating the scene with a controlled laser or LED source, and then analyzing the reflected light. In this paper we will first describe the underlying measurement principles of time-of-flight cameras, including: (i) pulsed-light cameras, which measure directly the time taken for a light pulse to travel from the device to the object and back again, and (ii) continuous-wave modulated-light cameras, which measure the phase difference between the emitted and received signals, and hence obtain the travel time indirectly. We review the main existing designs, including prototypes as well as commercially available devices. We also review the relevant camera calibration principles, and how they are applied to TOF devices. Finally, we discuss the benefits and challenges of combined TOF and color camera systems.
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Radu Horaud, Miles Hansard, Georgios Evangelidis, Clément Ménier. An Overview of Depth Cameras and Range Scanners Based on Time-of-Flight Technologies. Machine Vision and Applications, Springer Verlag, 2016, 27 (7), pp.1005-1020. ⟨http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00138-016-0784-4⟩. ⟨10.1007/s00138-016-0784-4⟩. ⟨hal-01325045⟩

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