Industrial Robot Uses RICOH THETA 360° Live Video To Inspect Tight Places

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Hugues Perret builds robots that explore the inside of dark pipes under the streets of France. His robots live stream 360° video direct to a laptop, enabling the robot operator to see any cracks or damage. They can look up, down, left, right at any point in the inspection.

His company, FOX SEWER ROVER, designs and builds these amazing robotic rovers for a leading French company that repairs a complex network of underground pipes. In addition to live streaming 360° video, the rover can also save the video to a file.

The RICOH THETA V is placed sideways in a low-cost plastic enclosure. Hugues designed a special connector for the enclosure to allow access to a micro USB connection. The connector is fabricated using a 3D printer. Video saved to file is automatically put into the proper orientation using the Top/Bottom correction of the RICOH software.

Different versions of the FOX SEWER ROVER are used to inspect drainage systems in a range of sizes. The rover below is built for a large pipe.

The white-yellow stripes at the base of the THETA is a spiral LED light strip that is used to provide light for the THETA V underground.

A secondary USB webcam is used at the front of the rover to record video at the same time as the RICOH THETA.

Future Plans

FOX SEWER ROVER is looking to add both USB and Wi-Fi control of the RICOH THETA. Although the rovers are currently sold only in France, the company is open to discussions for international sales. Please contact @hugues on this discussion area or contact FOX SEWER ROVER by email at foxsewerrover@gmail.com

Technical Information

Sample video of inspection with 360 video saved to THETA V internal storage.

Code for the project is here:


Theta V live streaming using Pi 3