This publication describes systems and techniques directed to determining local depth, or depth gradients, of a scene from structured light using a regular dot grid pattern and a single receiving camera. A patterned illuminator with a repeating nature provides a structured light that is used to generate depth information. Because any patch of dots can be expected to repeat at a known horizontal distance, an auto-correlation of the image with itself produces peaks along with these repetitions. By finding the disparity from such a peak to its expected location, we measure the local disparity between pairs of patches in the image. This process produces a local depth map, which is effectively the gradient of the true depth map. This map can be calculated with low complexity, calibrated with simple captures, and is robust to a range of miscalibrations.
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Levy, Hart, "Determining Local Depth From Structured Light Using A Regular Dot Grid", Technical Disclosure Commons, (October 01, 2019)