Micro-Baseline Structured Light
Abstract: We propose Micro-baseline Structured Light (MSL), a novel 3D imaging approach designed for small form-factor devices such as cell-phones and miniature robots. MSL operates with small projector-camera baseline and low-cost projection hardware, and can recover scene depths with computationally lightweight algorithms. The main observation is that a small baseline leads to small disparities, enabling a first-order approximation of the non-linear SL image formation model. This leads to the key theoretical result of the paper: the MSL equation, a linearized version of SL image formation. MSL equation is under-constrained due to two unknowns (depth and albedo) at each pixel, but can be efficiently solved using a local least squares approach. We analyze the performance of MSL in terms of various system parameters such as projected pattern and baseline, and provide guidelines for optimizing performance. Armed with these insights, we build a prototype to experimentally examine the theory and its practicality.