Real-Time Estimation of the Camera Path from a Sequence of Intrinsically Calibrated PMD Depth Images

Christian Beder and Ingo Schiller and Reinhard Koch, 2008

pdficon_largeIn recent years real time active 3D range cameras based on time-of-flight technology using the Photonic-Mixer-Device (PMD) have been developed. Those cameras produce sequences of low-resolution depth images at frame rates comparable to regular video cameras. Hence, spatial resolution is traded against temporal resolution compared to standard laser scanning techniques. In this work an algorithm is proposed, which allows to reconstruct the camera path of a moving PMD depth camera. A constraint describing the relative orientation between two calibrated PMD depth images will be derived. It will be shown, how this constraint can be used to efficiently estimate a camera trajectory from a sequence of depth images in real-time. The estimation of the trajectory of the PMD depth camera allows to integrate the depth measurements over a long sequence taken from a moving platform. This increases the spatial resolution and enables interactive scanning objects with a PMD camera in order to obtain a dense 3D point cloud.