e-con Systems Launches Stereo Vision Camera for NVIDIA Platforms

By Mike Ball / 05 Sep 2018

e-con Systems TaraXL stereo camera

e-con Systems has announced the launch of TaraXL, a USB 3.0 Stereo vision camera based on the 1/3-inch MT9V024, a WVGA Global shutter monochrome CMOS image sensor from OnSemi powered by a proprietary CUDA accelerated stereo camera SDK. The camera is designed for use with NVIDIA Tegra platforms and provides synchronized sensor frames to the host machine over USB 3.0 interface. It is designed for applications such as obstacle detection in autonomous driving, robotics and drones.

TaraXL is bundled with a proprietary CUDA accelerated Stereo SDK called Tara XL SDK that runs on the GPU of NVIDIA Tegra processors. The SDK can provide a 3D Depth map for 752 X 480 @ 50 fps without stressing the CPU. The SDK supports two modes of operations – one is a high accuracy mode which supports depth mapping @ 25 fps, and the other a high frame rate mode that supports depth mapping up to 50 fps. e-con Systems also provides sample applications with source code, demonstrating synchronous stereo image streams, disparity map and depth measurement. Customers can build their depth sensing based applications on top of this SDK and with TaraXL stereo cameras on NVIDIA Tegra platforms.

“TaraXL marks a significant milestone in e-con’s history, where e-con offers stereo cameras powered by a highly-optimized CUDA accelerated stereo camera SDK for NVIDIA Tegra platforms. The SDK enables customers to build 3d and depth-sensing applications directly on top of our SDK,” said Ashok Babu, President of e-con Systems Inc. “The TaraXL will be the right camera for applications involving autonomous driving, robotics, drones and mixed reality,” he added.

TaraXL, with a form factor of 100 x 30 x 35mm, consists of two OnSemi 1/3 inch MT9V024 CMOS image sensors separated by an ‘inter-ocular distance’ or ‘baseline’ of 60 mm, and a pre-calibrated lens pair mounted on an S-Mount holder (also known as an M12 lens mount). The MT9V024 enhanced NIR pixel process also provides excellent image quality in IR illuminated applications. With a USB 3.0 interface to the host PC, TaraXL can stream uncompressed Stereo WVGA format (1504*480) or two WVGA (752×480) at 60 fps, which are processed by the TaraXL SDK inside the GPU of NVIDIA Tegra platforms to generate a depth map of the scene. The other resolutions supported are VGA (cropped) at 60 fps and QVGA (640*420) at 60 fps. The TARA XL is a UVC-compliant USB 3.0 Camera that is also backward compatible with USB2.0 host ports and does not require any special camera drivers to be installed.

TaraXL SDK is a software library with sample applications (TaraXL Studio) to aid faster development. TaraXL SDK is built from the ground up using CUDA APIs developed by Nvidia. TaraXL SDK is fully tested on Nvidia TX2 Linux platform, and e-con plans to add other platforms shortly. TaraXL SDK is designed to be 5x times faster than the previous SDK for Tara. The TaraXL SDK provides disparity and depth maps, which can be used to develop various applications for autonomous roving and other machine vision applications. TaraXL SDK natively comes with C++ bindings. Developers can use these bindings to build various wrappers for e.g. ROS (Robot Operating System) very easily.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact