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I am currently working on a robotics project in which I wish to integrated a depth/object scanner. Now my focus is currently on an IR camera in combination with some sort of IR pattern projector.

Now I am having a hard time finding any sort of IR projector which can project a pattern. I have found several topics suggesting that I use an IR-LED and create a pattern in front of it, but that would mean the projector would take up significant space.

Are there any projectors out on the market in a sensible form-factor for consumers? I came across the Structure Core, but that's only available to OEMs.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why do you want to develop your own camera instead of just buying one? $\endgroup$ – FooTheBar Sep 14 '17 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ I wish to use existing IR projector and camera modules which I can embed in my project but I can't seem to find any. $\endgroup$ – Thys Sep 15 '17 at 7:55
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Consider using coherent light from an infrared laser and an interference pattern. Examples of this technique include the Kinect box.

A non-repeating totally random pattern across the entire field of view is ideal. However would likely be difficult to create. Recall the pattern from such a projector is actually constructed using a hologram. A more regimented pattern which repeats may be easer to create. However, this limits the depth perception to less then that which creates a reflected pattern 360 degrees out of phase based on the parallax of the projector and camera.

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  • $\begingroup$ That is the kind of technique I would like to use, but I am unable to find anywhere that offers embeddable projectors capable of this. $\endgroup$ – Thys Sep 28 '17 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ In recent years it has been easy to find COTS (Common Off The Shelf) outdoor holiday projectors capable of projecting (likely repeating) patterns of dots and other shapes. $\endgroup$ – st2000 Sep 28 '17 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ Can you give me an example? This would probably mean having to replace the leds of the COTS with IR leds? $\endgroup$ – Thys Sep 28 '17 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ Instead, google "christmas laser light projector". I have no idea how well this will work. I've never tried it. I don't know how often the pattern repeats its self. Rational thinking would say the more random the better. I assume you need to use coherent light. So, likely, there are no ordinary LED inside. Rather laser LEDs. Infrared laser LED are expensive, so you may want to try visible red or deep red laser LEDs first. $\endgroup$ – st2000 Sep 28 '17 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ I re-read the comments and just wanted to point out that you are essentially recreating the kinect device. If that is your intent, go for it! $\endgroup$ – st2000 Sep 28 '17 at 14:42
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One solution you might want to explore is the approach of the Intel Euclide sensor The form factor is almost matching your specs, and it also contain a set of localization algorithms that run on-board. The clam from the manufacturer is that the image are more stable in IR that with visible light, hence the solution consists in illuminating the scene with IR and record the image, this info is then matched with the one of visible camera.

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