T. Bell, B. Li, and S. Zhang, “Structured Light Techniques and Applications,” Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Edited by J. Webster, 2016; (Invited)
Modern hardware and algorithms, developed through several decades of research in multiple disciplines, are contributing toward the continuous advancement of 3D scanning technologies. Simply put, these technologies allow for the digital capture of an object’s natural surface geometry. This article presents methods concerning the 3D scanning techniques using structured light, in which different patterns or structures are projected onto the scene to be scanned. The deformation of the original structure, as it falls upon the scanning scene, can be used to recover the scene’s geometry. Within structured light technologies, there are several well-developed approaches in the design of the pattern(s) that are cast upon a scene. Some of the approaches offer significant advantages, such as the ability to capture the 3D geometry of a scene at very high accuracies at real-time rates. Given these advantages, the adoption of such 3D structured light technologies has been increasing. Being so, this article will also detail applications in which 3D structured light techniques are currently being employed within the fields of medicine, biology, manufacturing, security, communications, remote environment reconstruction, and consumer electronics.