This issue is to research options for external autofocus that can be added to any camera and (manual) lens.
There are different technologies to measure the distance to an object:
Main article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_imaging
The most accurate technology seems LIDAR, that's why it's used in self-driving cars.
There are some commercial lidar systems.
- DJI Ronin 3D Focus System (159 €)
- Blickfeld Cube (made for industrie applications like self-driving cars)
- Velodyne Velabit
- Livox Horizon (€1,199)
It would be awesome if we could build an open hardware solid-state LIDAR. Maybe there are some research papers we could implement. We could collaborate with open hardware self-driving car projects. Maybe some university is interested in such a project.
One practical use of such a system for video would be conference recording. Today a camera person has to follow the speaker and keep focus. With a system to move the camera like a gimbal or robot arm and LIDAR focus it can be fully automated!