3D Reconstruction in the Presence of Glass and Mirrors by Acoustic and Visual Fusion

Yu Zhang, Mao Ye, Dinesh Manocha, Ruigang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We present a practical and inexpensive method to reconstruct 3D scenes that include transparent and mirror objects. Our work is motivated by the need for automatically generating 3D models of interior scenes, which commonly include glass. These large structures are often invisible to cameras or even to our human visual system. Existing 3D reconstruction methods for transparent objects are usually not applicable in such a room-sized reconstruction setting. Our simple hardware setup augments a regular depth camera (e.g., the Microsoft Kinect camera) with a single ultrasonic sensor, which is able to measure the distance to any object, including transparent surfaces. The key technical challenge is the sparse sampling rate from the acoustic sensor, which only takes one point measurement per frame. To address this challenge, we take advantage of the fact that the large scale glass structures in indoor environments are usually either piece-wise planar or a simple parametric surface. Based on these assumptions, we have developed a novel sensor fusion algorithm that first segments the (hybrid) depth map into different categories such as opaque/transparent/infinity (e.g., too far to measure) and then updates the depth map based on the segmentation outcome. We validated our algorithms with a number of challenging cases, including multiple panes of glass, mirrors, and even a curved glass cabinet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1785-1798
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1979-2012 IEEE.


  • 3D reconstruction
  • sensor fusion
  • transparent/mirrored surface modeling
  • ultrasonic range finding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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