Researchers from Iran University of Science & Technology are working with colleagues from Universidade do Minho in Braga and Universität Stuttgart to assess the potential for commercially available 3D cameras to detect defects in switches. The researchers used the three-dimensional scanning capability of a Microsoft Kinect camera to create a 3D model of the rail and switch blade profile. The team believes that this could be an effective method for reducing the need for manual inspection of trackwork without using bespoke railway scanning equipment. By linking the camera to a power source and transmitting data to a laptop loaded with Skanect software, a three-dimensional model of the switch can be created from a flat photographic image using infrared, RGB and CMOS scanning tools.
Railway Gazette International, Apr. 2018. p.51.