September 28, 2017

SceneScan: Nerian's New Stereo Vision Sensor

Nerian introduces a high-performance successor for the proven SP1 system, which can process up to 100 frames per second, and image resolutions up to 3 megapixels.

Stereo vision, which is the three-dimensional perception of our environment with two sensors like our eyes, is a well-known technology. As a passive method – there is no need to emit light in the visible or invisible spectral range – this technology can open up new possibilities for three-dimensional perception, even under difficult conditions.

SceneScan and SceneScan Pro

But as often, the devil is in the details: for most applications, the software implementation with standard PCs, but also with graphics processors, is too slow. Another complicating factor is that these hardware platforms are expensive and not energy-efficient. The solution is to instead use specialized hardware for image processing. A programmable logic device – a so-called FPGA – can greatly accelerate the image processing.

As a technology leader, Nerian Vision Technologies has been following this path successfully for the past two years with the SP1 stereo vision system, which has enabled completely new applications in the fields of robotics, automation technology, medical technology, autonomous driving and other domains. Now the company introduces two successors: SceneScan and SceneScan Pro. Real eye-catchers in a double sense: stereo vision in an elegant design!

But more important is, of course, the significantly improved inner workings of the two new models in comparison to their predecessor. The new hardware allows processing rates of up to 100 frames per second at resolutions of up to 3 megapixels, which leaves the SP1 far behind:

Model Depth Image Resolution
Resolution 640 × 480 800 × 592 1280 × 960 1600 × 1200
SceneScan low 45 fps 30 fps n/a n/a
medium 30 fps 20 fps n/a n/a
SceneScan Pro medium 100 fps 65 fps 23 fps 17 fps
high 60 fps 40 fps 13 fps 8 fps

The table illustrates the difference: while SceneScan Pro has the highest possible computing power and is designed for the most demanding applications, SceneScan has been cost-reduced for applications with lower requirements. The customer can thus optimize his embedded vision solution both in terms of costs and technology.

The new duo is completed by Nerian's proven Karmin stereo cameras. Of course, industrial USB3Vision cameras by other manufacturers are also supported.

Example left camera image Example depth measurements
Example left camera image
Example left camera image.
Example depth measurements
Depth measurements (disparity map) computed by SceneScan.

This combination not only supports the above-mentioned applications even better, but also facilitates completely new and innovative ones. If required, customer-specific adaptations are also possible.