Machine Vision and Applications

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 127-152

First online:

Active, optical range imaging sensors

  • Paul J. BeslAffiliated withComputer Science Department, General Motors Research Laboratories

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Active, optical range imaging sensors collect three-dimensional coordinate data from object surfaces and can be useful in a wide variety of automation applications, including shape acquisition, bin picking, assembly, inspection, gaging, robot navigation, medical diagnosis, and cartography. They are unique imaging devices in that the image data points explicitly represent scene surface geometry in a sampled form. At least six different optical principles have been used to actively obtain range images: (1) radar, (2) triangulation, (3) moire, (4) holographic interferometry, (5) focusing, and (6) diffraction. In this survey, the relative capabilities of different sensors and sensing methods are evaluated using a figure of merit based on range accuracy, depth of field, and image acquisition time.

Key words

range image depth map optical measurement laser radar active triangulation