Northwestern University researchers have developed a three-dimensional (3D) capture camera they say is inexpensive, produces high-quality images, and works in all environments.
The camera is modeled after the way the human eye works, only scanning parts of the scenes that have changed, making it much faster and higher quality than previous 3D capture systems, such as the Microsoft Kinect.
In addition, the laser on the new camera can be sensed in the presence of the sun because it is much brighter than ambient light. A 3D camera is only useful if it can be used in everyday, normal environments, and "outdoors is a part of that, and that's something the Kinect cannot do, but our Motion Contrast 3D scanner can," says Northwestern professor Oliver Cossairt.
He says the new camera system has many applications for devices in science and industry that rely on capturing the 3D shapes of scenes, such as in robotics, bioinformatics, augmented reality, and manufacturing automation. He notes the device also could be used for navigation purposes, since it can be installed on cars and motorized wheelchairs, and the researchers also received a Google Faculty Research Award to integrate their technology onto an autonomous vehicle platform.
From Northwestern University Newscenter
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