3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2017 10:56 AM by MartyG

    Hard real time with RealSense cameras

    RiccardoT

      Hello,

      are RealSense cameras suitable for applications with hard real time constraints?

       

      Thanks,

      Riccardo

        • 1. Re: Hard real time with RealSense cameras
          MartyG

          For the benefit of other readers of this message, a definition of a hard real time system is one where "you must absolutely hit every deadline.  Very few systems have this requirement.  Some examples are nuclear systems, some medical applications such as pacemakers, a large number of defense applications, avionics, etc."

           

          RealSense cameras are very robust when used in industrial applications.  One should bear in mind though that as the RealSense range is in the sub-$400 price range, they may not have the same performance as a mission-critical industrial camera that costs thousands, like those used in movie filming.

           

          I bear in mind though that Microsoft's sub-$200 Kinect 1 cameras used technology that cost tens of thousands up until then.  The forthcoming RealSense 400 camera can also track over double the number of depth points and has twice the operating range of previous RealSense cameras.  So price is not always an accurate indicator of performance as camera technology advances, and you get far more bang for your buck.

           

          My experience as a long-term RealSense user is that the cameras are little powerhouses in terms of power potential and can constantly surprise you if you push them hard whilst they remain stable and reliable over a long period of time (my 2014 F200 camera is still going strong after nearly 3 years of regular use).

           

          In my own project, I add an additional layer of reliability by monitoring data in real-time with a custom-made 'status manager' script and set rules for self-correction if a deviation outside of acceptable norms is detected.

          • 2. Re: Hard real time with RealSense cameras
            RiccardoT

            Hi Marty,

            thank you for the reply. Going more into the details, is the USB 3.0 communication of the RealSense cameras compatible with hard real time execution?

            In other terms, if I use a real time OS that is not overloaded, may I have the guarantee of getting the point cloud with a known maximum latency?

             

            Riccardo

            • 3. Re: Hard real time with RealSense cameras
              MartyG

              RealSense is very sensitive to the USB 3.0 ports of computers, as these ports can have varying reliability depending on how the manufacturer implemented them in their product.  For instance, the ports on some machines may cause the camera problems if it cannot supply sufficient power during high-drain scanning activities.  It is proven that the camera becomes far more stable if you plug it into a mains-powered USB 3.0 hub instead of directly into the PC.  You can find hubs on stores such as Amazon starting at $15 by searching for 'powered usb 3.0 hub'.

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