Monday, September 12, 2011

ASUS Xtion PRO LIVE Unboxing


We have been waiting for a while for the Xtion Pro Live to be released. ASUS previously released the Xtion Pro depth sensor without an RGB camera and we have been hoping that they would release a version of the Xtion that integrates an RGB camera and hopefully provides hardware time synchronization and registration between the depth image and the color image. Other features on our wish list for robotics would be a wider field of view, a shorter minimum range for manipulation tasks or a longer maximum range.for navigation tasks or both by using either multiple laser projectors or multiple IR cameras.



The ASUS Xtion Live Pro definitely seems to be designed for developers instead of consumers. Instead of sweeping curves and Torx security screws, the Xtion Pro Live is easy to disassemble with Phillips head screws and has several flat surfaces that can be used to mount the sensor. The price of $199 is bit more than a Kinect, however the Xtion Pro Live has several advantages for robotics and computer vision applications.



The Xtion Pro Live is significantly smaller than the Kinect and the placement of the lenses are more symmetric, this give it a less lopsided appearance and makes it much more usable for humanoids. Robots on a diet will be pleased to know that the Xtion Pro Live weights about 170 grams including the USB cable. Perhaps best of all the sensor does not require an external power supply, making in much more portable and a great choice for mapping and art projects where power isn't always available.



If necessary, the base is easy to remove and replace.



The two piece case opens easily and reveals a cast metal frame for cooling and precision alignment of the cameras and the projector. If you were careful I bet you could tap holes directly into the frame if necessary.


The USB cable is attached with a connector for easy modification, if you need Mini or Micro USB connectors instead.



So far in our testing we have not been able to determine conclusively if the Xtion Pro Live has hardware registration or synchronization. We have a request in with ASUS for a follow up and will let you know as we have more information.

Overall it seems well designed and may be worth the extra cost depending on your budget and application. The ASUS Xtion Pro Live is currently only available direct from ASUS. Tell them we sent you and let them know if you are using the sensor for robotics.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

good! i'd appreciate your brave try.
I'm also planning to tear one down for aquring specifications of xtion's parts.

Gerrit said...

can it work outside?

Luc said...

Do you know if we can change the brigthness / contrast of the RGB sensor with Xtion ?
We did not succeed with kinect resulting in saturated images in many lighting conditions.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to reduce the effective distance by changing the position of the sensors?

Brian

I Heart Robotics said...

It should be possible to change the baseline, but it might require changes to the firmware or an undocumented command to adjust things. However, it will definitely need to be re-calibrated.

Anonymous said...

mmm... I need to work at about 0.5m to track fingers.

Brian

I Heart Robotics said...

You may want to look at the Nyko Zoom. It needs calibration work done, but it should get you closer to 0.5m.

You could probably use different lenses to make it even closer.

Anonymous said...

Is Nyko Zoom compatible with the Xtion PRO live?
Brian

I Heart Robotics said...

It's not compatible in the traditional sense. It is probably mathematically compatible and with enough hotglue can probably be made to work.

http://www.iheartrobotics.com/2011/09/in-stock-zoom-lens-for-kinect.html

We still haven't had a chance to work through the entire calibration process but it looks interesting.

Luc said...

We tested the NykoZoom for finger detection.
It allows to see at 36cm, but it add to much noise and sometimes removes fingers !!
See pictures below, hand is at 0.5m.

kinect+nyko

kinect

I Heart Robotics said...

Interesting results Luc. Did you calibrate the Kinect when you use the Nyko Zoom?

http://www.ros.org/wiki/openni_camera/calibration

Blah! said...

I'm working with the Xtion Pro too. However I keep having a problem where, turning on my computer, the camera doesn't work. I have to unplug the USB and reconnected it for it to recover. Have you seen this?

DailyDols said...

What did you find out about the RGB/depth sync issue? Is it fixed/fixable with the Xtion PRO LIVE?

Andrew said...

Did you ever hear back about the hardware synchronization line?

Murat Maman said...

Hi All,

I have been using Asus Xtion Pro Live however every each image's 7 rows came with zero. It is mean every first 7 rows saturated. Is it bug or was it made consciously. Other my experience it is not working on the sun. If they enforce the IR led then might use on sun. On the sun %96 pixels satureted.