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Orbbec’s 3D cam dev kit runs Linux on Amlogic A311D

Jan 12, 2021 — by Eric Brown 859 views

[Updated: 1PM] — Orbbec has launched a $143 “Zora P1” development board for its cameras that runs Linux on an Amlogic A311D. It also previewed ToF, industrial 3D, and Astra+ 3D cameras.

Orbbec has launched a Linux development board for its 3D depth cameras, such as the circa-2015 Astra Pro, which is incorporated on its Linux-based Persee camera computer. The Zora P1 features a high-end, hexa-core Amlogic A311D plus HDMI, GbE with optional PoE, WiFi/BT, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and 5x USB ports.

Zora P1 with (left) and without case
(click images to enlarge)

The Zora P1 supports the development of autonomous robots, compact imaging units, and gaming devices in applications including retail analytics, healthcare, industrial robots, factory automation, smart buildings, AR/VR, and machine learning. Orbbec also previewed some upcoming depth cameras, including an Astra+, a ToF Sensor, and an industrial 3D camera (see farther below).

The Zora P1 is available for $142.50 with 4GB DDR4 and an empty eMMC socket, a slight discount from the eventual $150. The board runs Ubuntu 18.04 and Android 9 on the Amlogic A311D (PDF), which drives the Khadas Vim3, one of the most powerful Arm SBCs in our recently updated catalog of 140 Linux hacker boards.


The A311D has 4x Cortex-A73 cores at up to 2.2GHz and 2x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz. There is also a Mali-G52 MP4 GPU, a Cortex-M4 MCU, and an up to 5-TOPS neural processor with support for deep learning frameworks like TensorFlow and Caffe.

The 116 x 100mm Zora P1 board ships with 4GB DDR4, a microSD slot, and swappable eMMC options ranging from 16GB (add $15) to 64GB (add $45). The board offers 802.11ac with Bluetooth 5.0 and an Ipex antenna plus a GbE port with an optional Power-over-Ethernet module coming later this year.

Zora P1 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The Zora P1 provides an HDMI 2.1 port and MIPI-DSI and CSI interfaces. Audio features include a microphone and PDM mic interface. Other features includes 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB OTG port. You also get a 42-pin GPIO header, a UART header, an LED, and buttons for power, reset, update, and ADC.

The SBC is powered by a 12V jack and a choice of adapters and offers an onboard Real-Time Clock. An acryclic case and heatsink are standard, with future options planned for a fan, a metallic case, a 3D camera stand, a sensor insert, and more.

ToF Sensor, Industrial 3D cam, and Astra+

Orbbec’s camera announcements are led by its first 3D sensor with time-of-flight (ToF) technology, which uses the flight time of light to measure distances to objects. Other ToF cameras include Onion’s recent Onion Tau LiDAR Camera.

ToF Sensor exploded view (left) and a sample scan showcasing capabilities with shadowing
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to converting captured images into 3D images, the ToF Sensor can measure at up to 30fps, allowing it to track the movement of objects three-dimensionally. The device is touted for its ability to “quickly capture the details of moving objects — even those with smooth and reflective surfaces.”

The ToF Sensor “is not easily affected by ambient lighting conditions, making it ideal for robotics, surveillance systems, or consumer products,” says Orbbec. Specific applications are said to include fall detection, security, and “at-home yoga and exercise products.”

The fan-cooled ToF Sensor is equipped with a Class 1 940nm VCSEL laser with a 2.5-meter range. There is a 640 x 480 @ 30fps VGA depth camera with H64.6° ±1°, V50.8±1° Field of View and a 1080p RGB camera. Other features include a USB 3.0 Type-C port and an 6-axis IMU.

ToF Sensor (left) and Real Time Industrial 3D Camera
(click images to enlarge)

The Real Time Industrial 3D Camera is a collaborative project with Purdue University that provides “ultra-high depth resolution and real-time 3D reconstruction,” says Orbbec. The product will ship later this year “as a white-label OEM product for laboratory and factory applications, among others.”

Finally, the Astra+ is the latest in Orbbec’s Astra line of structured light 3D cameras. The Astra+ “offers better thermal performance along with an RGB camera that has been updated from VGA to 1080p resolution,” says the company. Like the ToF Sensor, the Astra+ provides a VGA depth camera, which has H55° ±1°, V45±1°, D65°±1° FoV. Like the ToF Sensor, there is a USB 3.0 Type-C port and support for Linux, Android, and Windows hosts.

(click images to enlarge)

Other Astra 3D cameras include the mainstream Astra, Astra S, and Astra Pro, as well as a USB 3.0 equipped Astra Stereo S U3. a compact, USB 3.0-equipped Astra Embedded S and a compact Astra Mini line without as standard case.


The Persee computer appears to be the same model we covered five years ago. It runs Linux on a quad-core Cortex-A17 SoC and offers a stereo Astra Pro camera with VGA depth and 1280 x 720 @ 30fps RGB resolution. You also get WiFi, 10/100 LAN, USB 2.0, 2GB DDR3, and 8GB eMMC, among other features.

Further information

The Zora P1 is available starting at $142.50, discounted from $150. More information may be found in Orbbec’s CES announcement, as well as its Zora P1 announcement, Zora P1 product page, and Zora P1 shopping page. There are brief video announcements for the ToF Sensor and Real Time Industrial 3D Camera, with no mention of prices or ship dates. No product page was posted for the Astra+ at publication time. Orbbec will be showcasing the new products this week at the all-digital CES, Jan. 11-14.

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