Rice graduate rolls out his own 3-D camera

Graduate student Steven Arroyo of Rice University (Houston, TX, USA) has built a 3-D imaging system using structured light and has detailed the design on The Hackengineer web site.

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Graduate student Steven Arroyo ofRice University (Houston, TX, USA; www.rice.edu) has built a 3-D imaging system using structured light and has detailed the design on The Hackengineer web site. Arroyo chose to build his system around a structured-light projector and a CMOS camera.

The system uses a DLP picoprojector from Texas Instruments (TI; Dallas, TX, USA), a 365 VGA camera board from Leopard Imaging (Milpitas, CA, USA), a 2X telephoto lens, and a BeagleBoard from BeagleBoard.org, an all-volunteer activity started up by a collection of TI employees.

After the BeagleBoard generates the structured-light pattern, it is projected from the DLP picoprojector and the resulting scene captured by the camera. Images are processed by a custom algorithm developed inMATLAB from The MathWorks (Natick, MA, USA) to determine pixel depth. The resulting x, y, and z coordinates (3-D point cloud) are then used to reproduce a 3-D model of the scene.

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