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Sipeed MetaSense RGB ToF 3D depth cameras are made for MCUs & ROS Robots (Crowfunding)


We’ve just written about the Arducam ToF camera to add depth sensing to Raspberry Pi, but there are now more choices, as Sipeed has just introduced its MetaSense ToF (Time-of-Flight) camera family for microcontrollers and robots running ROS with two models offering different sets of features and capabilities.

The MetaSense A075V USB camera offers 320×240 depth resolution plus an extra RGB sensor, an IMU unit, and a CPU with built-in NPU that makes it ideal for ROS 1/2 robots, while the lower-end MetaSense A010 ToF camera offers up to 100×100 resolution, integrates a 1.14-inch LCD display to visualize depth data in real-time and can be connected to a microcontroller host, or even a Raspberry Pi, through UART or USB.

Sipeed MetaSense RGB ToF 3D Depth Cameras
MetaSense A010 (left) and A075V (right)

MetaSense A075V specifications:

  • SoC – Unnamed quad-core Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ 1.5 GHz with 0.4 TOPS NPU
  • System Memory – 128 MB RAM
  • Storage – 128MB flash
  • Cameras
    • 800×600 @ 30 fps (2MP) RGB camera with 78° (H) and 98° (V) field-of-view
    • 320×240 @ 30 fps depth (ToF) camera  with 55° (H) and 72° (V) field-of-view
    • iToF sensor
      • 940nm VCSEL laser
      • Range: 0.2 to 2.0m
      • Accuracy: <= 1% or <=1cm
  • Host interface – USB 2.0 Type-C port for USB virtual network (web interface) or/and? 1.25mm pitch UART connector
  • Dimensions – Main part: 36 x 36 x 13.5 mm; with cooling fan: 36 x 36 x 23.5mm
  • Weight – 40 grams with fan

MetaSense A010 specifications:

  • MCU – Unnamed 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller @ 144 MHz with 32KB RAM, 192MB flash
  • Camera
    • 100×100 @ 20 fps depth (ToF) camera  with 70° (H) and 60° (V) field-of-view
    • iToF sensor
      • 940nm VCSEL laser
      • Range: 0.2 to 2.5m
      • Accuracy: <= 1% or <=1cm
  • Display – 1.14-inch color LCD (not included in MetaSense A010 Lite model)
  • Host interface – USB 2.0 Type-C port for USB virtual UART or 1.25mm pitch UART connector, both uses to receive AT commands
  • Dimensions – 40.70 x 23.25 x 10.50 mm
  • Weight – About 10 grams
COMTool ToF camera program
COMTool v3.0.1 program

Both cameras support ROS 1/2, and the MetaSense A075V can be programmed while a Python SDK, while the MetaSense A010 relies on an AT command set and MCU samples (C programs) are provided. Depth, IR, RGB, and Point cloud data can be visualized in the web interface on the A075V, while the A010 relies on its built-in 1.14-inch display or the open-source COMTool program written in Python. You’ll find more details and instructions to get started on the wiki.

Sipeed has launched the MetaSense ToF camera family on Indiegogo with a lowly $1,274 funding target. Rewards start at $19 for the MetaSense A010 Lite without display, while the MetaSense A010 goes for $25, and a $75 pledge is asked for the MetaSense A075V model. All cameras ship with the necessary cables, and the A075V also comes with a tripod. Shipping adds $2 to China, and $15 to $32 to the rest of the world. A010 rewards are scheduled to ship in October, and the A075V will soon be manufactured to start deliveries in November.

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