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Intel Launches New RealSense Tracking Camera for Drones, Robots

The Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 uses proprietary V-SLAM technology with computing at the edge and is key for applications that require a highly accurate and low-latency tracking solution, including robotics, drones, augmented reality and virtual reality. Intel Corporation introduced the Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 in January 2019. (Source: Intel Corporation)

January 23, 2019      

Intel today introduced the latest version of its RealSense tracking camera, providing higher performance guidance and navigation to developers of autonomous devices, robots, drones, and augmented/virtual reality systems. The Tracking Camera T265 is now available for pre-order at $199, with availability on Feb. 28, 2019, Intel said.

The T265 is a stand-alone inside-out tracking device, using proprietary visual intertial odometry simultaneous localization and mapping (V-SLAM) technology, with computing at the edge, Intel said. This is key for applications that require high accuracy but low latency, Intel said.

6 degrees of freedom, 2 fish-eye cameras

The company said inside-out tracking means “the device does not rely on any external sensors to understand the environment.” Differentiating itself from other inside-out systems, the T265 delivers six-degrees-of-freedom for inside-out tracking “by gathering inputs from two onboard fish-eye cameras, each with an approximate 170-degree range of view,” Intel said. It added the camera would be good for applications where tracking the location of a device is important, especially in locations without GPS service, including warehouses, or remote outdoor areas where the camera can uses a combination of known and unknown data to accurately navigate.

Intel RealSense T265 Tracking Camera family

The Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 is a new class of stand-alone inside-out tracking device that will provide developers with a powerful building block for autonomous devices, delivering high-performance guidance and navigation. Intel Corporation introduced the Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 in January 2019. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Intel said integrating the T265 into an agricultural robot, for example, would let the device navigate fields in a precise lawnmower-style pattern, with the ability to avoid obstacles in the environment, including structures and people. “Whether bringing medical supplies to remote, off-the-grid areas, or to a lab inside a hospital ward, the T265 can be used in drone or robotic deliveries due to its wider field of view and optimization for tracking use cases.”

The camera is powered by Intel’s Movidius Myriad 2 vision processing unit, which Intel said can handle all the data processing necessary for tracking on the machine. The small footprint, low-power consumption device can be used by developers implanting this into existing designs, or for people “building their own intellectual property that requires rich visual intelligence.”

The T265 also works with the company’s RealSense D400 series cameras, with data from both devices able to combine for applications such as occupancy mapping, improved 3D scanning, and advanced navigation and collision avoidance in GPS-restricted environments. Intel said the only hardware requirements are sufficient non-volatile memory to boot the device, and a USB 2.0 or 3.0 connection with 1.5 watts of power.

“Understanding your environment is a critical component for many devices,” said Sagi Ben Moshe, vice president and general manager at Intel’s RealSense Group. “The T265 was designed to complement our existing Intel RealSense Depth Cameras and provide a quick path to product development with our next-generation integrated V-SLAM technology.”