Low-cost RGB-D cameras are increasingly being used in several research fields, including human–machine interaction, safety, robotics, biomedical engineering and even reverse engineering applications. Among the plethora of commercial devices, the Intel RealSense cameras have proven to be among the most suitable devices, providing a good compromise between cost, ease of use, compactness and precision. Released on the market in January 2018, the new Intel model RealSense D415 has a wide acquisition range (i.e., ~160–10,000 mm) and a narrow field of view to capture objects in rapid motion. Given the unexplored potential of this new device, especially when used as a 3D scanner, the present work aims to characterize and to provide metrological considerations for the RealSense D415. In particular, tests are carried out to assess the device performance in the near range (i.e., 100–1000 mm). Characterization is performed by integrating the guidelines of the existing standard (i.e., the German VDI/VDE 2634 Part 2) with a number of literature-based strategies. Performance analysis is finally compared against the latest close-range sensors, thus providing a useful guidance for researchers and practitioners aiming to use RGB-D cameras in reverse engineering applications.
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