depth_image_proc provides basic processing for depth images, much as image_proc does for traditional 2D images. The two packages are complementary; for example, you can (and should!) rectify your depth image before converting it to a point cloud.

A variety of camera technologies can produce depth images:

  • The Kinect and related devices

  • Traditional stereo cameras

  • Time-of-flight cameras

See REP 118 for details on depth image representation. The REP recommends that, wherever possible, producers and consumers of depth data use depth images (of type sensor_msgs/Image) instead of sensor_msgs/DisparityImage.

All ROS 2 components (besides ConvertMetricNode) in this package support both standard floating point depth images and OpenNI-specific uint16 depth images. Thus when working with OpenNI cameras (e.g. the Kinect), you can save a few CPU cycles by using the uint16 raw topics instead of the float topics.

For an example of depth_image_proc in practice, examine the contents of openni2_launch.

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