Stereo Ninja - Stereo microscopy for the Masses

A project log for Stereo Ninja

A DIY digital stereo-microscope. Low cost. Open source software and hardware. For electronics inspection, soldering work and more.

Uli KöhlerUli Köhler 06/08/2021 at 02:120 Comments

Did you ever have the chance of looking through one of those 3000€ Mantis microscopes? Let us share a secret with you: Once you did, if you do any type of electronics or even just love to look at them know you need a stereo microscope for yourself.

But the issue is.... even the cheaper varieties of those stereo microscopes are so expensive that they are simply out of reach for hobbyists and many professionals alike. Or is it?

Stereo Ninja is a new way of doing stereo microscopy. Instead of using specialized optics in an expensive toolkit, let's use two cameras and a 3D monitor - and a Raspberry Pi.

But how do you connect two cameras to a Raspberry Pi which only has one camera connector? There are multiple ways in order to do that, but one of the best is to just use the Raspberry Pi Compute Module (which has two separate CSI camera interfaces). Thankfully, the StereoPi project has already done all the electronics works and testing for us. 

It's pretty simple. Just use two high-quality Raspberry Pi cameras with the StereoPi, display the images in a way compatible with standard 3D monitors and you have a stereo microscope.

Here is how it looks on the 3D monitor:

Obviously, you can't see the 3D effect in the photo but the "drunken look" with two similar images being displayed at once looks much more 3D when you've got your shutter glasses on: