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Stereoscopic camera kit piggybacks on Raspberry Pi CM3

Jan 31, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 1764 views

Virt2real has launched a Crowd Supply campaign for an open-spec, $89 “StereoPi” stereoscopic camera board designed to work with an RPi Compute Module and dual Raspberry Pi cameras. It supports spatial awareness, 3D depth maps, and 3D video livestreaming.

Virt2real, the Russian firm that in 2013 brought us its Linux-based Virt2real wireless controller and remote-controlled “Bond Car,” has returned with a stereoscopic camera kit that can work with any Raspberry Pi Compute Module, from the original CM1 to the latest CM3+. The StereoPi can capture, save, livestream, and process real-time stereoscopic video and images for robotics, AR/VR, computer vision, drone instrumentation, and panoramic video.



StereoPi alone (left) and with Raspberry Pi cameras
(click images to enlarge)

The StereoPi is available on Crowd Supply in an $89 Standard version and a $69 Slim model with a shorter 15mm profile that removes the real-world connectors for the 10/100 Ethernet and 2x USB 2.0 ports and dispenses with the 40-pin GPIO connector. Neither package includes the Raspberry Pi CM3, cameras, camera ribbon cables, or power and USB cables.

All these are included with a $125 Starter Kit based on the Standard model that includes the Raspberry Pi CM3 Lite — the version without eMMC storage. The Starter Kit also adds a second power cable and a microSD card with the StereoPi Raspbian image and demos. Dual Raspberry Pi V1 cameras are included along with a V1/V2 dual-camera mounting plate and a single wide-angle, dual-camera mounting plate.



StereoPi Slim and Standard versions (left) and Starter and Deluxe Kits
(click images to enlarge)

A Deluxe Kit adds dual wide-angle (160°) cameras. You can also add to any of these packages with a $25 Accessories Kit that offers 5cm cables to connect the cameras to the StereoPi board instead of using the typical 10-20cm cables that ship with the V1 and V2 cameras. The kit also includes USB and standard power cables, and two acrylic plates for mounting both standard and wide-angle cameras. There are also plans for 3D printing an enclosure.

Virt2real is almost a third the way toward its $35,000 funding goal, with 38 days to go. All the packages ship Mar. 31. The packages will eventually ship with open specifications.

The StereoPi image offers Python support and example code and supports micro-USB delivered firmware updates. Virt2real has supplied demos for using the StereoPi with YouTube, Oculus Go, and the Wifibroadcast drone app for livestreaming 3D video. You also get demos for OpenCV depth maps, ROS spatial awareness, and Hugin 360° panoramic photos and videos.

The 90 x 40 x 23mm StereoPi Standard board is equipped with the previously mentioned LAN and dual USB ports, as well as a micro-USB port for power and a USB header. There’s also an HDMI output port, a microSD slot, a 5VDC input, a manual power switch, and a 40-pin GPIO connector for extending Raspberry Pi I/O.



StereoPi detail views (left) and Waveshare’s 160° RPi G camera
(click images to enlarge)

Dual MIPI-CSI-2 camera connectors are onboard that support either the official Raspberry Pi V1 or V2 cameras, as well as Auvidea’s B101 HDMI to CSI-2 bridge module with HDMI input port. The connectors also support the optional wide-angle camera, which is the 5-megapixel Waveshare RPi Camera G.


RPi CM3+

Other Linux-driven stereoscopic (or stereo vision) cameras we’ve covered include E-con’s recent, $349 TaraXL. Virt2real posted a comparison chart with other models ranging from $259 to $695, including the RealSense D435+Aaeon, QooCam, ZED Mini, and Duo MLX.

 
Further information

The StereoPi is available on Crowd Supply in packages starting at $69 (see pricing above) with 38 days to go. Packages ship Mar. 31. Shipping is free to the U.S. and $10 elsewhere. More information may be found on the StereoPi Crowd Supply page and the Virt2real website.
 

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One response to “Stereoscopic camera kit piggybacks on Raspberry Pi CM3”

  1. stereoscope3d says:

    What system is used to synchronize the two camera heads? Will they be genlocked?

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