Pico Zense Time of Flight (ToF) Camera

Many people that stopped by our Innovation Faire booth in Detroit asked about the Time of Flight camera we were showcasing. For anyone interested, this is the model we were showing. For those of you guys with FTC teams as well, they do have an Android SDK in addition to Linux and Windows.



Too bad it only has a 5m range. If it were a bit longer it would be great for odometry off of the ceiling.

I wasn’t able to attend Detroit champs so this is the first time I’ve seen this product. I’m very interested in it, but I have a few questions.

  • Is there an sdk for the Rio?
  • Is there an sdk for a Pi?
  • What does the application they give look like? I’m thinking of something like pixycam’s pixymon
  • How do you think it performs in an frc environment? It looks like it’s geared toward office use or similar, and I’m worried the tof will be inaccurate trying to record distances from reflective/clear surfaces
  • Can you access both tof and rgb data simulataneously?
  • Is there any method of teaching this camera objects natively or do we have to do vision processing on our own from the rgb data?

Thanks in advance!

This product is technically sold by Pico and not Analog Devices, they just use our components. You’d probably want to reach out to them directly to get more firm answers. That said, here’s what I do know:

No SDK for the RIO that I’m aware of.

There is a Linux SDK, so while not pi specific I’d imagine you could develop something from there.

The camera solution is designed for indoor and outdoor use, since it uses near-IR for depth perception which means it doesn’t care about ambient lighting or sunlight. Depending on how reflective or transparent the surface is you may have trouble seeing the object. So clear polycarb is probably a no-go unless it has graphics printed on it. Anything highly reflective would saturate those pixels on the sensor.

The demo we had running actually had both the depth and rgb feeds running at the same time in real time. So yes!

Not super familiar with the SDK environment so I can’t say for sure on object recognition algorithms.

I’m planning on getting one of these to test during off season so if I get anywhere I’ll definitely post back here. (Others feel free to contribute as well).

Did you happen to hear anything about general availability or you know if there is a distributor for this camera? I don’t see general availability on the website and the order form says:


This would make the camera not legal for competition as of now.

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I did not, but asking around internally if there are others that have similar functionality since I know they’re not the only ones we supply to.

I want to say any of the solutions put out by the Taiwanese company LIPS (yes, that’s the actual name) uses some of the ADI chips but don’t quote me on that one just yet.

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