Matrox has added 3D scanning tools to the Matrix Imaging Library (MIL), version 9.0. The concept is similar to that employed in single-purpose devices by Micro-Epsilon and SICK. (see Two 3D Scanner tools.)
The camera images a laser line from an out-of-plane location and processes the line position and shape as 3D points. The difference is that while the others process the line directly in the camera and transfers only a single line of height information, Matrox transfers the raw image to the processor and computes the 3D points there.
Consequently, the Matrox solution doesn't have the blazing speed produced by the others. But it can be implemented on a Matrox Iris smart camera running MIL 9.0 for less than half the system cost.
The Iris solution can still exceed 100 frames per second at 640X480, and better than 20 frames per second at 1280X960.
See the system this week at the Robot and Vision Show.