Adlink Controllers Now Compatible With StereoLabs Cameras for Improved Robotic Vision

March 29, 2024 by Seth Price

Adlink has made its ROScube-X controllers fully compatible with StereoLabs’ ZED X cameras to improve autonomous vehicle navigation.

In an effort to improve autonomous mobile robot vision, Adlink has partnered with StereoLabs to make its control module, the ROScube-X RQX-59, fully compatible with up to eight StereoLabs ZED X cameras simultaneously.


StereoLabs’ ZED X series cameras can now be integrated with Adlink’s ROScube-X robotics controller

StereoLabs’ ZED X series cameras can now be integrated with Adlink’s ROScube-X robotics controller. Image used courtesy of Adlink


Autonomous Navigation

In the autonomous vehicle market, the more cameras on the vehicle, the more successful it will be navigating safely and efficiently. Current autonomous vehicles face limitations from controller and hardware interfaces, which must rapidly scan these cameras to make navigational decisions. 

The ROScube-X RQX-59 series robotics controller from Adlink can manage eight StereoLabs’ ZED X cameras. By developing a fully compatible camera and controller system, automation design engineers do not have to pilot different camera models. Instead, they can pick high-quality cameras known for their performance.

Adlink’s ROScube-X RQX-59 Series ROS 2 robotics controller

Adlink’s ROScube-X RQX-59 Series ROS 2 robotics controller. Image used courtesy of Adlink 


ROScube-X RQX-59 Controllers

The ROScube-X RQX-59 series' fast processing allows for the synchronization of multiple cameras (up to eight) and sharper edge detection than previous models. These features are ideal for navigating tight industrial environments where workers and autonomous vehicles, forklifts, and other equipment are still operating. Ultimately, the high resolution and the synchronization allow for more accurate 3D pictures, which can be carefully analyzed for movement, edges, or other problems that could trick an autonomous vehicle into a collision.

In addition to pairing with the StereoLabs ZED X cameras, the ROScube-X can connect with up to six USB sensor devices. The USB ports can also be used to connect other sensors for additional data, such as LIDAR sensors.


ZED X Stereo Cameras

StereoLabs’ ZED X line of cameras are all-weather (IP67), ruggedized cameras designed for the autonomous vehicle industry.


StereoLabs’ ZED X stereo camera (left) and ZED X Mini stereo camera

StereoLabs’ ZED X stereo camera (left) and ZED X Mini stereo camera. Image used courtesy of StereoLabs


These cameras are capable of producing 100x greater detail resolution than current, on-the-market LIDAR systems, making them a good choice for navigating complex environments around other moving objects. Furthermore, each camera is fitted with a 16-bit, triaxial Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). This IMU tracks vibrations and vehicle motions to remove "blurriness" from images, providing much greater location accuracy of objects around the vehicle.

Another key advantage of the ZED X camera line is its use of an advanced neural network (Neural Depth Engine 2) for identifying objects in various lighting conditions. One of the challenges of machine vision is developing routines that will adapt to different lighting conditions. 


Advanced Robotic Vision

The ROScube-X RQX-59 controller and the ZED X camera combination will make for accurate and fast navigation of autonomous vehicles. Whether the autonomous vehicle must transit dirty warehouse floors, cross rough metal grating, or other such environments that challenge machine vision systems, this combination of hardware should be capable of solid performance. Given the image stability and high resolution from the ZED X cameras and the high-speed processing power, camera synchronization, and ease-of-use of the ROScube-X, this pair will likely be used in future warehouse, shipping, and materials transport applications.