[ros-users] Microsoft Kinect v2 Driver [Release]

Thiemo Wiedemeyer wiedemeyer at cs.uni-bremen.de
Tue Sep 9 08:50:56 UTC 2014

Dear ROS Community,

I am Thiemo from the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the 
University of Bremen. I am currently a PhD Student under the supervision 
of Prof. Michael Beetz. I'm writing this together with Alexis Maldonado, 
another PhD Student at our lab, who has helped mainly with the hardware 

In the past few months I developed a toolkit for the Kinect v2 
including: a ROS interface to the device (driver) using libfreenect2, an 
intrinsics/extrinsics calibration tool, an improved depth registration 
method using OpenCL, a lightweight pointcloud/images viewer based on the 
PCL visualizer and OpenCV.

The system has been developed for and tested in both ROS Hydro and 
Indigo (Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04)

The driver has been improved to reach high performance, meaning to be 
able to process the sensor's information at full framerate (30Hz) on 
acceptable hardware (not only high-end machines). This was achieved 
through parallelization of the image pipeline. Care has also been taken 
to be able to transfer the complete data over compressed topics to other 
PCs (30Hz data uses approx. 40Mbytes/s on the network).

Specially interesting for other people with a PR2 robot: we have built a 
small mITX computer using an AMD A10-7850K processor, and a PicoPSU. It 
is installed as a backpack on our PR2, and a Kinect v2 on the head above 
the cameras. This 'backpack-PC' is necessary because the built-in 
computers on the PR2 don't support USB3 and they are quite loaded with 
their normal workload.

We are glad to announce the release of the software for ROS community, 
hoping it will be useful for others, specially people working in 
robotics research. Please see the following GitHub repository:


You will need a slightly patched version of libfreenect2, as indicated 
on the README. It is here:

Screenshots are also on the GitHub page.

We are looking forward to improvements and/or bug reports. Please use 
the GitHub tools for that.

Best regards,

Thiemo and Alexis

Institute for Artificial Intelligence
University of Bremen


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