Stereolabs ZED Camera – NVIDIA Jetson TK1 and Jetson TX1 Install and Demo

Stereolabs ZED Camera is billed as “The World’s First High Definition 3D Camera for Depth Sensing”. One of the main applications for the ZED is robotic vision, which is a perfect compliment to the Jetson Tegras. Here’s a brief install and demonstration video on both the Jetson TK1 and Jetson TX1 Development Kits. Looky here:

ZED Background

The ZED camera is a stereoscopic imaging camera which contains two high definition imagers. One imager is mounted on the left and the other on the right side of the camera enclosure. The camera provides a video stream, each frame of which consists of a composite of an image from each camera, side by side. The images are time synchronized. The video stream is sent over USB 3.0 to a host.

On the host, the frame in the stream is then converted to a depth map using the host GPU. The Stereolabs SDK on the host uses the geometry of the fixed distance between the imaging elements, and using the known field of view of the imagers calculates an accurate depth map.

The ZED can sense depth between 1 and 20 meters.

Software Installation

Installation on either of the Jetson Development Kits is straightforward. The Stereolabs SDK requires CUDA be installed on the Jetson and that USB 3.0 be enabled on the TK1. The default for the TX1 is that USB 3.0 is enabled.

To get the ZED SDK, go to the Stereolabs Developers website, then scroll to the ZED SDK for Jetson section. Download the appropriate version for the Jetson being used.

Note: More detailed and specific directions for installation of the SDK are available from Getting Started with Jetson TK1 and the ZED.

After downloading, in a Terminal switch over to the directory where you downloaded the SDK. Then ‘chmod +x’ the downloaded file and execute it from the terminal.

Tools and Samples

The installer places the SDK files in /usr/local/zed
There are a couple of useful tools in the ‘tools’ folder, and some sample applications in the ‘sample’ folder.


In the video, you could see that there are some issues with the video when using the explorer program. The video also shows the difference in performance of the Jetson TK1 versus the Jetson TX1. While the Jetson TK1 shows the depth map application running at about 8 frames per second, the Jetson TX1 runs the same program at around 18 frames per second. Just having opened the box and connected the camera, I don’t know what type of performance to expect on either platform but this is certainly something to start building on.


  1. Hi,
    I would like to know what did you use to have in the same time the keyboard, the mouse, the ZED device and be directly on the TK1 ?
    As I have just a USB 2.0 HUB, I’m searching to use the keyboard and the mouse by a remote way without super-user rights.

  2. Hi,

    I would like to confirm that your “lsusb -t” message were similar to this after the installation :
    /: Bus 03.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=tegra-ehci/1p, 480M
    /: Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=tegra-xhci/2p, 5000M
    |__ Port X: Dev X, If 0, Class=Video, Driver=uvcvideo, 5000M
    |__ Port X: Dev X, If 1, Class=Video, Driver=uvcvideo, 5000M
    /: Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=tegra-xhci/6p, 480M

    Further to the reply of my problem posted here :

    It could explain why I have an error with the ZED tools and the 720 resolution.

  3. Hi! What is the absolute minimum object sizes the depth camera can see? I’m looking for a camera that is able to see objects of 0.5cm (any side) on the floor. I will be using a Jetson TX1 board.

  4. Hi 🙂
    I am working on a university project that involves enabling autonomous capabilities in a vehicle.First off all I wanted to thank you for putting up videos and sharing your knowledge. It’s been of great help.I am new to programming and I wanted to know if I could code the ZED camera on Jetson TK1 using python and opencv to build applications like object detection.Would I be able to use depth map application that comes with the ZED camera and continue building my applications using python and opencv.Also , is the opencv4Tegra that comes with flashing the jetpack the only way of getting opencv installed on Jetson Tk1? Thank you

    • Thank you for the kind words.
      I am not a Python programmer, so I do not know the answer to your questions. The ZED camera requires OpenCV4Tegra which is installed with JetPack. As I recall, the sample programs are written in C/C++. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!

  5. Thanks for the quick reply! What IDE could I use on Jetson TK1 to build the C++ opencv (image processing algorithms)and do I need to add the opencv libraries every time I build a C++ opencv program? Thank you!

  6. Thank you for sharing knowledge and uploading the videos, they helped me a lot ! I have a question though: I cannot launch the ZED explorer nor the ZEDfu app even though I installed the ZED SDK and they are available on the tools directory. Any ideas on why this is happening ? Thanks !

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