Real-Time Depth From Focus on a Programmable Focal Plane Processor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Julien N.P. Martel
  • Lorenz K. Muller
  • Stephen J. Carey
  • Jonathan Muller
  • Yulia Sandamirskaya


Visual input can be used to recover the 3-D structure of a scene by estimating distances (depth) to the observer. Depth estimation is performed in various applications, such as robotics, autonomous driving, or surveillance. We present a low-power, compact, passive, and static imaging system that computes a semi-dense depth map in real time for a wide range of depths. This is achieved by using a focus-tunable liquid lens to sweep the optical power of the system at a high frequency, computing depth from focus on a mixed-signal programmable focal-plane processor. The use of local and highly parallel process- ing directly on the focal plane removes the sensor-processor bandwidth limitations typical in conventional imaging and processor technologies and allows real-time performance to be achieved.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-934
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number3
Early online date18 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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