Accuracy and resolution of Kinect depth data for indoor mapping applications

Sensors (Basel). 2012;12(2):1437-54. doi: 10.3390/s120201437. Epub 2012 Feb 1.


Consumer-grade range cameras such as the Kinect sensor have the potential to be used in mapping applications where accuracy requirements are less strict. To realize this potential insight into the geometric quality of the data acquired by the sensor is essential. In this paper we discuss the calibration of the Kinect sensor, and provide an analysis of the accuracy and resolution of its depth data. Based on a mathematical model of depth measurement from disparity a theoretical error analysis is presented, which provides an insight into the factors influencing the accuracy of the data. Experimental results show that the random error of depth measurement increases with increasing distance to the sensor, and ranges from a few millimeters up to about 4 cm at the maximum range of the sensor. The quality of the data is also found to be influenced by the low resolution of the depth measurements.

Keywords: RGB-D; calibration; error budget; imaging; laser scanning; point cloud; range camera; sensor; triangulation.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Geographic Information Systems / instrumentation*
  • Housing*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Maps as Topic*
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Radar / instrumentation*
  • Transducers*