Fuel3D is a spin-off company from the University of Oxford, originally producing a 3D scanner to be used in the health care sector for measuring wounds. After a complete redesign of both the hardware and the software, Fuel3D now offers a resonably priced 3D scanner for both the consumers as well as various businesses. The scanner excels at scanning 'animate objects', such as humans, due to a very fast capture time of less than 0.1 seconds. As it can be understood, scanning animate objects can be challenging if the scanning time is long due to the object either changing in shape (e.g. scanning someone's face the facial expressions typically do not remain the same) or position/orientation with respect the scanner.

Cutting Edge Development

I joined Fuel3D in the autumn of 2014 as Technical Lead for computer vision algorithm development. Between me and my team we designed and implemented the image processing pipeline from scratch with the idea of making the pipeline modular so that new algorithms could be added, or changed, depending on the processing needs. The image processing pipeline is responsible, among other things, for converting the data captured by the scanner into 3D data. Since the scanner was originally developed to scan wounds that typically are fairly 'flat' (i.e. not having very big dynamic range in the Z-axis) most of the key algorithms were redesigned to deal with objects having greater depth ranges. All the key algorithms are cutting edge and combine years of knowledge from both the academic research as practical knowledge of optics and related fields.

Following figure shows yours truly being scanned with Fuel3D's consumer scanner SCANIFYTM.

jarno being scanned

 

The figure below shows raw 3D reconstructed data from the scanner without having applied any smoothing or related operations. I have removed colours from the scan so that the underlying 3D geometry can be seen easily. The scan was taken so that the scanner was facing me directly (i.e. the scanner was directly in front of me). The side profile is exactly as expected, even the funny slope at the end of my nose.

jarno scan

 

Jarno Ralli
Author: Jarno Ralli
Jarno Ralli is a computer vision scientist and a programmer.

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