Tutorial - Getting Sensors Data

This tutorial shows how to retrieve sensor data from Stereolabs cameras. The sample will loop until 800 data samples are grabbed, printing the updated values in the console.

Getting Started

  • First, download the latest version of the ZED SDK.
  • Download the C++ or Python sample code.
  • Follow the instructions on how to build your project in C++ or Python on Windows and Linux.

Code Overview

Create a camera

As in previous tutorials, we create, configure and open the ZED. In this example, we choose to have a right-handed coordinate system with Y axis up, since it is the most common system chosen in 3D viewing software.

// Create a ZED camera object
Camera zed;

// Set configuration parameters
InitParameters init_params;
init_params.camera_resolution = RESOLUTION::HD720; // Use HD720 video mode (default fps: 60)
init_params.coordinate_system = COORDINATE_SYSTEM::RIGHT_HANDED_Y_UP; // Use a right-handed Y-up coordinate system
init_params.coordinate_units = UNIT::METER; // Set units in meters

// Open the camera
ERROR_CODE err = zed.open(init_params);
if (err != ERROR_CODE::SUCCESS) {
    printf( "Error opening the camera: %s\n", toString(err).c_str() );

Capture data

Sensors data can be retrieved in two modes: synchronized or not synchronized to the camera frames. In this tutorial, we will show how to grab 800 data samples that are not synchronized.

int i=0;
Timestamp first_ts=0,prev_imu_ts=0, prev_baro_ts=0, prev_mag_ts=0;
SensorsData data;

while ( i<800 ) {
    // Get sensor data not synced with image frames
    if( zed.getSensorsData( data, TIME_REFERENCE::CURRENT ) != ERROR_CODE::SUCCESS ) {
        printf( "Error retrieving Sensor Data\n");


Process data

To be sure that new data samples are available, since they are not synchronized to camera frames, we must check that the timestamp is different from the previous retrieved values. We use the timestamp of the IMU sensor as reference value since it is the sensor that runs at higher frequency.

// Check if new sensor data is available
if( prev_imu_ts==imu_ts ) {
prev_imu_ts = imu_ts;

If new values are available, we retrieve and display them:

printf("*** Sample #%d\n", i);

printf(" * Relative timestamp: %g sec\n", static_cast<double>(data.imu.timestamp-first_ts)/1e9 );

// Filtered orientation quaternion
printf(" * IMU Orientation: Ox: %.3f, Oy: %.3f, Oz: %.3f, Ow: %.3f\n",
        data.imu.pose.getOrientation().ox, data.imu.pose.getOrientation().oy,
        data.imu.pose.getOrientation().oz, data.imu.pose.getOrientation().ow);
// Filtered acceleration
printf(" * IMU Acceleration [m/sec^2]: x: %.3f, y: %.3f, z: %.3f\n",
        data.imu.linear_acceleration.x, data.imu.linear_acceleration.y, data.imu.linear_acceleration.z);
// Filtered angular velocities
printf(" * IMU angular velocities [deg/sec]: x: %.3f, y: %.3f, z: %.3f\n",
        data.imu.angular_velocity.x, data.imu.angular_velocity.y, data.imu.angular_velocity.z);

If we are using a ZED 2 we have more sensor data to be acquired and elaborated:

if(cam_model == MODEL::ZED2) {

Barometer and Temperature sensors:

// Check if Barometer Data are updated
Timestamp baro_ts = data.barometer.timestamp;
if( prev_baro_ts!=baro_ts ) {
    prev_baro_ts = baro_ts;

    // Atmospheric pressure
    printf(" * Atmospheric pressure [hPa]: %g\n", data.barometer.pressure);

    // Barometer temperature
    float baro_temp;
    data.temperature.get( SensorsData::TemperatureData::SENSOR_LOCATION::BAROMETER, baro_temp );
    printf(" * Barometer temperature: %g\n", baro_temp);

    // Camera temperatures
    float left_temp,right_temp;
    data.temperature.get( SensorsData::TemperatureData::SENSOR_LOCATION::ONBOARD_LEFT, left_temp );
    data.temperature.get( SensorsData::TemperatureData::SENSOR_LOCATION::ONBOARD_RIGHT, right_temp );
    printf(" * Camera left temperature: %g C\n", left_temp);
    printf(" * Camera right temperature: %g C\n", right_temp);

Magnetometer sensor:

// Check if Magnetometer Data are updated
Timestamp mag_ts = data.magnetometer.timestamp;
if( prev_mag_ts!=mag_ts ) {
    prev_mag_ts = mag_ts;

    // Filtered magnetic fields
    printf(" * Magnetic Fields [uT]: x: %.3f, y: %.3f, z: %.3f\n",
            data.magnetometer.magnetic_field_calibrated.x, data.magnetometer.magnetic_field_calibrated.y, data.magnetometer.magnetic_field_calibrated.z);

Disable modules and exit

Once the data has been retrieved, we close the camera before exiting the program.

// Close camera
return 0;

And this is it!

You can now retrieve sensor data from ZED 2 and ZED Mini cameras.