October 31, 2011

Subpixel Registration and Distortion Measurement

by Andrey Filippov

Motivation

While working on the second generation of the Eyesis panoramic cameras, we decided to try go from capturing the series of the individual panoramic images to the 3d reconstruction. There are multiple successful implementations of such process, we just plan to achieve higher precision of capturing the 3d worlds using Elphel ability to design and build the hardware specific for such purpose. While most projects are designed to work with the standard off-the-shelf cameras, we are working on building the cameras together with the devices and methods for these cameras calibration.  In order to be able to precisely determine the 3-d locations of the features registered with the cameras we plan first go as far as possible to precisely map each pixel of each sub-camera (of the composite camera) image to the ray in space. That would require at least two distinctive steps:
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October 21, 2011

Live USB/CD/DVD

by Oleg Dzhimiev

We made a new Live USB version of Elphel Toolkit.

It is available for downloading here.

Software

It is an entire Operating System that can be booted from a USB drive or DVD (of course you can install it on your computer as well) and comes with all Elphel relevant software preinstalled. As the basis we chose Kubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support distribution) 32-bit which is supported by its developers until April 2013. Everything described on our Software Kit wiki page is preinstalled. That allows you to update the camera firmware (reflash), play a live video-stream from a camera and also build a custom firmware image for the camera. (more…)

October 12, 2011

Elphel-Eyesis-4π preassembly stage

by Oleg Dzhimiev

We have finally received the parts for Elphel-Eyesis-4π camera and started assembling them hoping that all will fit together as we planned. And for the most part they do, which seems a bit like magic to us: you design the camera on the computer in a 3D CAD program, make a long list of parts it will consist of and then a couple months later it all turns into physical object, not just a virtual 3D design.

Of course some of the parts will need minor modifications – some are due to mistakes made by us, and some are manufacturing problems. But none of them were significant enough to prevent us from assembling the first 3 prototypes, that will be 100% operational spherical panorama cameras. Elphel-Eyesis-4π is the second generation Panoramic Imaging System by Elphel Inc. It is able to capture high-resolution images in full 360 degrees and create 4π (in steridians) spherical panoramas at a high frame rate. The actual recording device consists of a weatherproof camera head that contains the image sensor front-ends and lenses in spherical distribution to cover the entire 360 degree area. The rest of the electronic components as well as the SSDs for data storage are contained inside the camera pole.

Elphel-Eyesis-4π covers a full sphere. 24 sensors (8 in horizontal array, 8 pointing at +30 to + 90 degree (zenith) and 8 pointing at -30 to -90 degree (nadir) ensure a uniform high resolution distribution over the entire covered area. A new Internal Measurement Unit (IMU) mounted at the top of the camera pole provides high resolution 3D position and orientation of the camera.

Fig.1. Test assembly.

Fig.2. 3D CAD rendering.

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