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RGBD/ToF 3D cameras compatible with MCUs and support ROS1/ROS2

Sep 10, 2022 — by Giorgio Mendoza 444 views

The MetaSense A075V and the MetaSense A010 are two open-source and low-cost Time of Flight (ToF) cameras designed to interface with microcontrollers and ROS1/ROS 2 based platforms. Both devices have an operating depth range from 0.2 to 2.0m (2.5m on A075V model) with less than 1 cm accuracy.

According to the product page, the MetaSense A075V uses a Cortex A7 processor (up to 1.5GHz) along with a 0.4T Neural Processor Unit. The MetaSense A010 which is optimized to interface with MCUs features a 32-bit RISC-V processor (up to 144MHz) with 132KB of RAM and 192KB ROM.

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MetaSense A075V (left) and A010 (right)
(click images to enlarge)

The A075V model offers a higher depth resolution (up to 320 x [email protected]), a RGB sensor (up to 800 x [email protected]) in addition to an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The images captured by the A075V can be visualized in real-time using ROS or a browser 


RGB+Depth Fusing View in ROS and face recognition demo
(click images to enlarge)

The MetaSense A010 offers a lower depth resolution (100 x [email protected]) and a 1.14″ LCD used to view processed images in real time. As the previous model, the A010 also supports ROS 1/ROS 2 in addition to a UART interface to communicate with microcontrollers. This model can also be configured to lower depth resolutions (i.e. 50 x 50, 25 x 25). This model is also offered in a Lite version that doesn’t include an LCD).

A010 COMtool operation and MCU interface
(click images to enlarge)

The product page features various examples of the cameras in applications involving obstacle avoidance, face recognition, volume measurement, distance estimation and gesture interaction. Documentation can be found under Sipeed’s Wiki and GitHub. See the video below for more information. 

The company also listed a table which compares the MetaSense devices to other cameras. See below for more details.

Comparison table
(click image to enlarge)

Key features for the MetaSense A075V include:

  • Processor System:
    •  Arm Cortex-A7 (up to 1.5GHz) with 0.4 TOPS NPU
  • Memory/Storage:
    • 128MB RAM
    • 128MB ROM
  • Display:
    • Web browser – Depth/IR/RGB/Point cloud
  • Resolution:
  • Field of View:
    • RGB – 78º(H) x 98º(V)
    • TOF – 55º(H) x 72º(V)
  • Accuracy/Distance:
    • <= 1%/ <=1cm
    • 0.2 to 2.0m
  • Interface:
    • 1x UART (1.25mm connector)
    • 1x USB 2.0 (Type-C)
  • Laser Emitter:
    • 940nm VCSEL (IEC60825)
  • Software:
    • ROS 1, ROS 2
    • Python SDK & Sample Code
  • Dimensions:
    • 36 x 36 x 13.5mm
    • 36 x 36 x 23.5mm (w/ cooling fan)
  • Weight:
    • ~40g

Key features for the MetaSense A010 include:

  • Processor System:
    •  32-bit RISC-V (up to 144MHz)
  • Memory/Storage:
    • 132KB RAM
    • 192KB ROM
  • Display:
    • 1.14” LCD (No LCD for Lite version)
    • Custom Comtool APP (Open Source Python based app)
  • Resolution:
  • Field of View:
    • TOF – 70º(H) x 60º(V)
  • Accuracy/Distance:
    • <= 1%/ <=1cm
    • 0.2 to 2.5m
  • Interface:
    • 1x UART (1.25mm connector)
    • 1x USB 2.0 (Type-C)
  • Laser Emitter:
    • 940nm VCSEL (IEC60825)
  • Software:
    • ROS 1, ROS 2
    • MCU sample code & AT command documentation
  • Dimensions:
    • 23.25 x 40.70 x 10.50mm
  • Weight:
    • ~10G

Further information

The MS-A010 Lite Suit is available for $19USD while the MS-A010 Basic Suit costs around $25USB. The MS-A075V Full Suit is listed for $75USD. The products are also available in 4-packs (i.e. x4 MS1010 for $98USD, 4x MS-A075V for $293USD). Shipping is expected in October for the MS-A010 models and November for the MS-A075V models. For more information refer to the product page on Indiegogo.com

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