Intel adds palm-sized LiDAR to RealSense range
Intel has launched the RealSense lidar camera L515, which it says is the smallest and most power-efficient, high resolution LiDAR camera in the world. It's also relatively inexpensive.
LiDAR – which stands for Light Detection and Ranging – is perhaps most familiar for its use in autonomous vehicles, scanning the world around them in three dimensions. The system works by registering the time taken for light to bounce off of objects and back to receivers.
Generally quite large and expensive, Intel has managed to reduce both size and cost by using a miniaturized MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) mirror to scan the surrounding area, meaning that the laser pulse power can be reduced while managing to generate 23 million depth points every second for millimeter accuracy. And Intel says that its depth accuracy will never need calibration.
The L515 has a diameter of 61 mm (2.4 in), and a height of just 26 mm (1 in). It's been deigned for indoor use only and has a reported depth resolution of 1,024 x 768 at 30 frames per second over a supported range of 0.25 - 9 meters (0.8 - 29.5 ft) with a 70° x 55° field of view. Intel says it sips only 3.5 watts of power, too.
Elsewhere, the camera features an accelerometer, gyro and 1,920 x 1,080 resolution RGB videocam. Expect this camera to find its way into robotics, measurement, retail and logistics applications. It's up for pre-order now for US$349, the video below has more.
Product page: L515