Intel reveals RealSense LiDAR camera

Feb. 4, 2020
The L515 features proprietary MEMS technology that enables a reduction of laser pulse power.

Intel (Santa Clara, CA, USA; 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.

“The laser beam from the camera focuses on the proprietary MEMS mirror, which vibrates, reflecting the laser light so that it can scan the whole environment in both the x and y directions,” said Joel Hagberg, Head of Product Management and Marketing at Intel RealSense. “Additionally, the MEMS mirror was designed to be resistant to shock, temperature fluctuations, and vibration.”

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 million depth points per second in 640 x 480 resolution, with a 95% reflectivity range of 0.25 to 9 m, and 23.6 million depth points per second in 1024 x 768 resolution, with a 95% reflectivity range of 0.25 to 6.5 m. Exposure time is <100 ns per depth point. The L515’s laser runs at 860 nm.

An included RGB camera with rolling shutter OV2740 CMOS image sensor from OmniVision (Santa Clara, CA, USA; 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 (Reutlingen, Germany; BMI085 inertial measurement unit with accelerometer and gyroscope is included, and processing is achieved via an Intel RealSense Vision ASIC.

The camera is 61 x 26 mm in size, weighs 100 g, features a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 interface, requires 3.5 W, 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 software development kit (SDK) 2.0, an open-source, cross-platform library, is included with the L515 camera.

Minimum system requirements for the camera are Windows 10, build 15063 or later; MacOS (High Sierra 10.13.2); Ubuntu 16.xx/18.04 LTS; and Android 7,8 (N/O) with the USB OTG connectivity protocol supported. MacOS support for the full range of functionality offered by the SDK is not yet complete.

Related stories:

Waterborne drone swarms use 3D cameras to communicate

Single-photon LiDAR research accomplishes 3D imaging at extreme distances

Share your vision-related news by contacting Chris Mc Loone, Editor in Chief, Vision Systems Design


About the Author

Dennis Scimeca

Dennis Scimeca is a veteran technology journalist with expertise in interactive entertainment and virtual reality. At Vision Systems Design, Dennis covered machine vision and image processing with an eye toward leading-edge technologies and practical applications for making a better world. Currently, he is the senior editor for technology at IndustryWeek, a partner publication to Vision Systems Design. 

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