SLAM with Ricoh Theta using OpenVSLAM

Has anyone seen this? I Have been doing some SLAM research recently and stumbled upon this:

It is an open source SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) framework that advertises support for equirectangular videos like those recorded (or streamed) from a Theta. It supports monocular camera setups, where you use a single camera and stucture-from-motion to estimate the actual 6 dimensional trajectory of the camera.

To be clear, this is a REALLY cool. Projects like this make autonomous robotics MUCH more accessible. The computer vision technology they are using, ORB features for key framing, is a pretty cutting edge approach that has only really become popular in the past 4 years. Technology like this allows a robot to navigate and map its environment autonomously in real time. A single camera is an order of magnitude cheaper than the LIDAR / LIDAR+IMU / camera+IMU setups that are usually used for these kinds of things. I even found a report from someone who claims to have been able to succesfully use the software with a Theta V.

Anybody have experience with this? I am finally settled and think I might pick up a Theta to build a bot and test this out.


It works well. I have tested it with Z1


Sickkkk. Did you test it with a pre-recorded video, or did you use some method like UVC to stream video to the system live? It seems to me like that would require a bit more work, but to me thats a much more interesting use-case.


I tested it with pre recorded video. Havnt tested it Live . I am yet to figure out that part.

1 Like

At the moment, the UVC webcam technique can’t be used with the THETA on Linux as we don’t have a streaming driver at the moment. I’ve heard that some people on the community on working on a driver.

It may work on MacOS X. I don’t think you can get web cam detection with WSL on Windows. Stack Overflow post from April 2018.

Thanks for the heads up. Maybe I’ll hunt down the folks looking at making a driver!