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Last month I visited a quadrotor laboratory ($ 20m^2$ approx). They used both Optitrack and Vicon systems. However, they told me that Vicon cost 10 times as much as Optitrack. Considering that any system of motion capture relies on the same principles of IR markers, which might be the reason for this difference in price?

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This comes mostly from two things, the hardware and the software composing these systems.

The hardware, mostly what are capable of the 'cameras' used.

The second one is the software, that include calibration algorithms (different speed of calibration and accuracy), reconstruction algorithms (how many marker per object, accuracy of the body reconstruction), exportation format (how many bodies, single markers, in which format).

It boils down that Optitrack is good enough for UAV flight, but that over activities have different requirement which are met best by Vicon.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot. I'm a bit interested in the details. Could you give me an example of a best Vicon performance with UAVs, please? $\endgroup$ – galtor Jul 19 '18 at 6:36
  • $\begingroup$ For me the major difference for UAV are: calibration and actual streaming frequency, for which I heard Vicon might be better but I was never able to compare both systems on equivalent experiment. . Also Vicon seems to provide possibilities to get the readings directly in simulink. The behavior of both stem in terms of latencies needs to be empirically tested has they both claim low latency without well defined metrics. $\endgroup$ – N. Staub Jul 20 '18 at 8:47

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