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Occipital Structure Sensor

Installation of the Occipital Structure Sensor on the Jetson TK1

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The video shows the unboxing and installation of the Structure Sensor to the Jetson TK1 development kit. You can find out more about the Structure Sensor here: Structure.

So why is this device interesting? You attach it to an iPad or iPhone after all. The key is that the device is based on PrimeSense technology, which is what the original Kinect 360s were based on. (Microsoft has since moved to a different approach for depth sensing for the second generation Kinect 2).

The PrimeSense (recently acquired by Apple) method of depth sensing uses a structured light technique. A simplistic explanation is that an infrared laser (!) is shone through a patterned film, the pattern on the film being known. An infrared camera then views the scene, and by determining the deformation of the pattern calculates the depth of each point.

Inside the open source community, there is a project called OpenKinect which enables interfacing with a PrimeSense device and provide depth streams, infrared streams, color streams, sound, etc. With the appropriate cables, the Jetson is able to interface with the Structure Sensor.

As the video shows, the Structure Sensor is considerably smaller than the original Kinect. It’s easy to imagine this being attached to a Jetson platform (robot, tablet, DSLR, etc) and used for depth sensing. The Structure does not have a color camera or microphones in it, but for a lot of applications this is a good thing. The Structure Sensor is enclosed in a sturdy brushed aluminum housing.

Occipital is supporting the open source community, and accomodates access to different platforms as a result, by hosting interface software OpenNI2 on a Github Repository. They also sell a ‘Hacker cable’ which allows the Structure to be plugged into a regular USB port.

All good stuff, and enough to start having some fun!

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