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Realsense T265 - hands on review

Hi!

I’ve made a short blog post describing my experience with Intel Realsense T265 tracking camera used with a wheeled mobile robot that I think some of you could find useful: https://msadowski.github.io/Realsense-T265-First-Impressions/

Tl;dr summary of the post: I really like the idea behind this sensor but I found that it was quite difficult to get a ‘proper’ REP-105 compliant setup with it. In my opinion at this stage it can be a decent unit to have for R&D but I’d say it’s not there yet for commercial applications.

If you have any tips on using T265 or notice that I do anything wrong in my setup then I would really appreciate your feedback!

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Nice article.

I was really impressed with the T265. Having a commercially off the shelf device that does visual odometrytells something about how much VSLAM is improving.

It worked pretty well in my experiments, but then I had to ask myself: if I have wheel odometry and an IMU, do I need the T265 ?

I come to the conclusion that the T265 is an amazing device that is not really useful in many practical cases.

The fact that it is “just” Visual odometry and I can not reuse maps, makes it less attractive than it could be.

But I think it is great for non-wheeled robots like drones ans hand-held devices.

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Thank you for this. The coordinate convention makes my head spin, hopefully this will help.

While impressive, so far I see the t265 as better suited for integration with an external vio/vslam system, which is kind of ironic. It is really amazing how well it works out of the box but I can’t quite figure out a good way to translate that into a production asset.

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For me the greatest promise of T265 was the plug’n’play aspect. I was hoping that I will plug it in to my robot and I will receive a good feedback from it that would allow me to detect wheel slip, especially on uneven/slippery terrains.

I’m really looking forward to see what happens to it in the future and I really hope Intel doesn’t abandon it.

I dont get your problem with the TFs. For me the T265 is publishing TFs in compliance with REP 105

Interesting! Did you set the publish_odom_tf parameter to true in the driver and managed to get a solid tree? Would you be able to share you settings, tf tree etc? I spent close to a week just on this and I’d love to learn how to set it up properly!

i have just used default settings :wink:

Yes, this looks good for a system where you use just the camera. How would you integrate it on your robot when it comes to tf structure?

Where would you connect the camera to base_link? Because the only way I can think of that won’t violate the REP-105 is if you have a camera_link -> base_link transform, which is quite backwards from what I’m used to.

if you want your standard odom --> base_link --> camera_link you have to handle TF by yourself or use robot_localization package.