Time of flight camera

A time of flight camera produces a 3D image, in which every pixel of the image produces a x, y and z value.

This camera works by sending infrared light and catching its reflection on an object on a CCD sensor. The x, y and z values can be measured by the angle of incidence of the light on the lens and the location on which the light falls on the sensor in combination with the time the light sent takes to come back. Because of the high speed of light, not the actual time is measured, but the phase difference between the light sent and caught.

A great advantage of a time of flight camera is that it is capable of composing a 3D image of a scene in just one shot. Many other 3D vision systems require more images or even movement. A disadvantage is that the distance measurement is disrupted when the light sent falls on an edge or a bent surface, causing the position of the pixel to be incorrect. Additionally, the influence of surrounding light, specifically sunlight, easily causes noise and thus impure pixels (positions) in the image.