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My question is oriented towards the generation of depth map using any of the state of the art depth sensor.

However, each of these method required the presence of an 3-D object in front of the sensor. Is it possible the generate a depth map even if a 2-D image is presented to the sensor?

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No, it's not. The way many of the 3D sensors work is by projecting an infrared pattern onto the surface and measuring how it distorts. But with a 2D image, the pattern will simply be projected onto the flat 2D image, not onto the objects in the scene. So the 3D sensor will only sense a flat card.

Other methods work by combining 2 images taken with different cameras at different angles. This will have the same result as above. The 2D photo will be interpreted as a 2D surface by the combination of the 2 cameras.

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