What are currently the best low-cost (< 1000 USD) depth sensors in terms of:

  • range (at least 3 meters, the more the better)
  • size
  • power consumption (preferably USB powered)
  • spatial resolution/accuracy
  • depth resolution/accuracy
  • robustness (lighting conditions, amount of unknown pixels)

After Primesense was sold to Apple, there hasn't been a single obvious choice for a robot depth sensor.

To my knowledge, Kinect v2 is the most accurate, but it's quite big and requires an additional power supply and a terrible amount of extra cables and adapters: Cable hell MS style

Furthermore, I could not find if libfreenect2 can be used in commercial products. Being Windows-only would be a huge turn-off.

SoftKinetic DS-311 is perhaps the closest to what Primesense used to be, but maybe not as accurate.

Here are some other low-cost cameras that I found, but they have a short range:

  • pmd[vision] camboard nano
  • SoftKinetic DS-325

and others with a long range but high cost:

  • Panasonic D-Imager
  • pmd[vision] CamCube 3.0
  • SwissRanger SR4500
  • Odos Imaging Real.iZ-1K

What upcoming sensors are there? I found Orbbec Persee, which is coming soon and claims to be the best in everything, but looking at the image is not very convincing: enter image description here

  • 1
    While it's not exactly a sensor, you can use two webcams and use angle differences to calculate depth.
    – ArtOfCode
    Oct 7, 2015 at 11:48
  • Well I can but it would be insanely stupid because the development cost is huge and the result would be worse than existing products.
    – lahjaton_j
    Oct 8, 2015 at 7:36
  • 1
    It's not bad, actually. That technique is cheap in terms of hardware, and the development once you work out the maths is trivial, really. It gets used regularly in student projects here. That said, a sensor is certainly more convenient.
    – ArtOfCode
    Oct 8, 2015 at 9:29
  • Even if your labor cost is zero, why not get a $100 RealSense F200 which is the same price as webcams and you save the effort of doing your own stereo engine.
    – lahjaton_j
    Oct 9, 2015 at 10:54
  • The kinect isn't that bad if you make your own power supply (main power goes into the motors that adjust it's position anyways), and similarly can cut all the cables to the standards that you want Oct 25, 2015 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


The Asus Xtion Pro Live is a decent kinect-like sensor, can be powered via usb and is considerably smaller -especially since there is way less cable mess- it is 500$ on amazon. The range is only 3.5 meters however.

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-Xtion-PRO-LIVE-90IW0122-B01UA/dp/B00CET0ZBO https://www.asus.com/us/3D-Sensor/Xtion_PRO_LIVE/

I worked with the sensor in an "object recognition" project and had no problems.

  • If you read the original post carefully, I'm asking other than Primesense sensors, because they stopped manufacturing about a year ago. BTW, the range is 10 meters, not 3.5 m like the reference states.
    – lahjaton_j
    Dec 14, 2015 at 8:41

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