Christian Beder, Bogumil Bartczak and Reinhard Koch, 2007
Real-time active 3D range cameras based on time-of-flight technology using the Photonic Mixer Device (PMD) can be considered as a complementary technique for stereo-vision based depth estimation. Since those systems directly yield 3D measurements, they can also be used for initializing vision based approaches, especially in highly dynamic environments. Fusion of PMD depth images with passive intensity-based stereo is a promising approach for obtaining reliable surface reconstructions even in weakly textured surface regions. In this work a PMD-stereo fusion algorithm for the estimation of patchlets from a combined PMD-stereo camera rig will be presented. As patchlet we define an oriented small planar 3d patch with associated surface normal. Least-squares estimation schemes for estimating patchlets from PMD range images as well as from a pair of stereo images are derived. It is shown, how those two approaches can be fused into one single estimation, that yields results even if either of the two single approaches fails.