Intel has announced the RealSense LiDAR Camera L515, which promises to be an affordable way for integrators to add LiDAR functionality to their vision systems.
The L515 is designed for applications like warehouse logistics, robotics, and 3D scanning. The infrared bandwidths of sunlight can degrade the quality of the camera’s depth imaging. The L515 is therefore optimized for indoor applications. Multiple cameras can share field of view through a hardware sync feature.
Intel RealSense LiDAR features proprietary micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) mirror scanning technology that, according to the manufacturer, enables a reduction of laser pulse power. The manufacturer also states that depth calibration or recalibration are not required by the camera, and that the L515 features motion blur artifact reduction and short photo-to-depth latency.
The camera captures 9.2 M depth points per second in 640 x 480 resolution, with a 95% reflectivity range of 0.25 – 9 m, and 23.6 M depth points per second in 1024 x 768 resolution, with a 95% reflectivity range of 0.25 – 6.5 m. Exposure time is <100 ns per depth point which, according to the manufacturer, provides robust performance against motion blur. The L515’s laser runs at 860 nm.
An included RGB camera with rolling shutter OV2740 image sensor provides up to 1920 x 1080 resolution at up to 30 fps. Resolutions of 1280 x 720 and below can achieve up to 60 fps. A Bosch BMI085 inertial measurement unit (IMU) with accelerometer and gyroscope is also included, and processing is achieved via an Intel RealSense Vision ASIC.
The camera is 61 mm x 26 mm in size, weighs 100 g, features a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 interface, requires 3.5 W power, and has an operating temperature of 0° C to 30° C. The mounting options for the camera include one 1/4-20 UNC thread mounting point, two M3 thread mounting points, and a tripod. Intel RealSense SDK 2.0, an open-source, cross-platform library, is included with the L515 camera.
Velodyne, in early 2018, dropped the cost of its VLP-16 LiDAR puck from $8,000 to $4,000, in a bid to make LiDAR sensors more readily available for autonomous vehicle research and development. With the release of the L515, Intel has further opened the door to increased accessibility of LiDAR technology, for a different suite of potential applications.
Read more about the L515 on the Intel website.