Intel’s new T265 RealSense tracking camera is for use in robots and drones

The Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265

Intel have announced (and opened pre-orders) for their new RealSense Tracking Camera T265. This new camera features inside-out tracking technology that provides developers with a powerful building block for drones, robots and autonomous devices, delivering high-performance guidance and navigation.

The T265 uses V-SLAM, or Visual Inertial Odometry Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping technology for those playing at home. It’s designed for applications that require a highly accurate and low-latency tracking solution including AR and VR.

“Understanding your environment is a critical component for many devices. 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.”

Vice president and general manager, Intel RealSense Group, Sagi Ben Moshe

The Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 is powered by the Intel Movidius Myriad 2 vision processing unit (VPU), which directly handles all the data processing necessary for tracking on the machine. This makes the T265 a small footprint, low-power consumption solution that is simple for use by developers implementing into existing designs or building their own intellectual property that requires rich visual intelligence.

The Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 is good for applications where tracking the location of a device is important, especially in locations without GPS service, such as warehouses or remote outdoor areas where the camera uses a combination of known and unknown data to accurately navigate to its destination.

Intel gives an potential use case where a T265 integrated into a robot designed for agriculture, would allow the robot to navigate fields in a precise lawn-mower-style pattern and intelligently adapt to avoid obstacles in its environment, including structures or 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 optimisation for tracking use cases.

Inside-out tracking

The Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 uses inside-out tracking, which means the device does not rely on any external sensors to understand the environment. Unlike other inside-out tracking solutions, the T265 delivers 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) inside-out tracking by gathering inputs from two onboard fish-eye cameras, each with an approximate 170-degree range of view.

The V-SLAM systems construct and continually update maps of unknown environments and the location of a device within that environment. Since all position calculations are performed directly on the device, tracking with the T265 is platform independent and allows the T265 to run on very low-compute devices.

The T265 complements Intel’s RealSense D400 series cameras, and the data from both devices can be combined for advanced applications like occupancy mapping, improved 3D scanning and advanced navigation and collision avoidance in GPS-restricted environments. The only hardware requirements are sufficient non-volatile memory to boot the device and a USB 2.0 or 3.0 connection that provides 1.5 watts of power.

Technical specs

V‑SLAM, part of Intel RealSense Technology
High precision Visual Inertial Odometry Simultaneous Localization and Mapping algorithms.

Intel Movidius Myriad 2.0 VPU
Visual Processing Unit optimized to run V‑SLAM at low power.

Two Fisheye lenses with combined 163±5° FOV
The camera includes two OV9282 imagers with fisheye lenses for a combined, close to hemispherical 163±5° field of view for robust tracking even with fast motion.

The Inertial Measurement Unit, allows for accurate measurement of rotation and acceleration of the device, to feed into the V-SLAM algorithms.

USB 3.1 Gen 1 Micro B
USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 supported for either pure pose data or a combination of pose and images.

108 x 24.5 x 12.5 mm – Small form factor designed to mount on any device with ease.

2 x M3 0.5mm pitch mounting sockets
Securely attach the camera to your device with these standard mounting points on the rear of the camera.

Price and Availability

If you’re keen to get one yourself and start developing solutions with it, the Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 is available for pre-order now. It will begin shipping Feb. 28 at US$199.00

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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