IP CAMERA 4K / 60FPS / Plug and play for BR2

Hi everyone,

I share with you the first images of my latest project. This is an IP camera designed to replace the original BR2 camera.

I still have to do some parameter optimization tests, since the camera is highly configurable, but I liked its capacity so much that I decided to publish a preview :wink:

Camera Features:

  • IP camera 4k (3840*2160)
  • 60FPS
  • Bitrate up to 60,000 kbps
  • Digital servo
  • ARM Cortex 1.4GHz quad-core CPU
  • IMX678 ultra-low light sensor, F1.2 aperture (0.0001 lux in color)
  • 12 mp fixed lens; 1/1.8" ; 3.2mm or 5 mm (Motorized varifocal lens will also be available soon)

Even though we have had very bad weather and poor visibility lately, with very dark and rainy days, I have managed to record some interesting videos. And although the environment is not very beautiful and the general conditions are bad, they have helped me to see the behavior of the camera, which is in bad conditions when it should have good performance.

I have to say that I am really satisfied with its ability to capture light, its incredible adaptation to the turbidity of the water, the recovery of the loss of colors due to depth and lack of light, the ability to recover vision of objects that are backlit, the image definition and above all the fluidity at 4k 60fps.

I have made a small video with subtitles, where I indicate the function I use at all times (ManualWB, WDR, Anti-Fog, BLC, HLC).

All the functions and parameters of the camera are modified live during the dive, using the joystick buttons thanks to the software that I have written and that runs in the background. Therefore, it is not necessary to lose control of the ROV to configure it, or enter an application to adjust the camera, this can be done live, which gives another dimension to diving.

The video that you can download below is not edited in post production, all image corrections, as I mentioned previously, have been made during the dive with the joystick. The only edit I have made is to add subtitles, so that you know which parameter I am modifying at each moment depending on the water conditions. I also start and stop the recording with the ROV joystick. It is also possible to take photos one by one or continuous photos to use in photogrammetry through the Joystick buttons.

In the following links you have access to the videos:

  • Video 1: exported to (1920*1080 _60fps_h264.mp4) for viewing on mobile phones and less powerful computers.
  • Video 2: exported in original format (3840*2160_60fps_h265 mp4), to see this video you need a good PC with a decent GPU e.g. GTX 1050i or higher, and HEVC-h265 codec

Download the videos to watch them in full quality. For viewing I recommend VLC, the latest version.

On the other hand, I recommend that you install the HEVC-H265 codec from the Microsoft store, it costs $0.99, but it makes the PC work very well in this format, both for editing and viewing.

I will soon offer the camera for interested people.

Best regards :ok_hand:

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Hi @Andres this is very interesting. Are you recording to SD card / usb storage onboard for that high bitrate i.e. what is the live stream like in terms of resolution and bitrate?

Definitely interested in this product. We have been exploring 4k options, key for us is a good live feed as well as onboard high bitrate recordings.

Kind regards

Matt

Hi @mattcmgb ,

I’m glad you find the camera interesting!

Regarding your queries:

-In this design I have not included an SD card module to record on board the ROV. I have tried it, but at the moment I did not want to include it, since the space available in the ROV electronics cabinet is very limited. Taking into account that the camera has a considerable size, adding the SD module took up more space and the design did not convince me.

The intention is to replace the LowLightHD USB BR2 camera in a simple way, and given the size and power of this camera, fitting the components to allow the servo to rotate has been an odyssey and therefore adding the SD module complicates it even more. But hey, although I was not completely convinced, an SD module could be added, it is one of the things that I am still evaluating.

-With respect to the live viewing, comment that it was done through Qgroundcontrol by RTSP in 4k / 60fps / H265 / 20,000 kbps / CBR quality, that is, exactly the same quality as the recording of the video that I have shared, in fact, I do the recording through my own software written in Python that includes a Gstreamer pipeline to capture the same RTSP that is displayed through Qgroundcontrol. In this case, the bandwidth consumption, between recording, viewing and the consumption of the ROV itself is around 45/48 Mbps.

The Bitrate of the camera can be modified up to 60,000 kbps, but I use 20,000 kbps because from 16,000 / 20,000 kbps I do not see an image improvement that is worth it, taking into account the weight of the videos it produces.

With this configuration I obtain very good quality both live and in recording, but it would also be perfectly valid to configure it at 15,000 kbps and have a total consumption of approximately 35 Mbps. Of course, this will depend on your taste, needs and the width of the available band on your network.

It can also be configured in other ways, for example, if you have 80 Mbps available, you could set the main stream to 4k h265 at 60,000 kbps for recording, and set the secondary stream to 1920*1080 at 10,000 kbps for live viewing. through Qgroundcontrol, since this camera maintains great quality even at 1080. On the other hand, you could also use VBR (Variable Bitrate), which consumes up to 30% less bitrate without almost losing image quality.

Therefore, this camera allows you to record and view live in very good image quality with a reasonable bandwidth. It would be a matter of playing with these parameters until finding the most optimized option for each case.

Everything said above will also depend on the PC you use. Obviously you need a good machine, with a dedicated GPU, for maximum image quality.

For example, the recording and viewing of the video that I shared was done on the PC that I have on the boat that uses a Xenon processor and GTX 1050i graphics. I also have another laptop with an i7 processor with GTX 3050 graphics, which handles this camera without problems.

If your PC has less capacity, you can always reduce the image, without losing excessive quality, as I mentioned before.

For live viewing through Qgroundcontrol it is necessary to select “force NVIDIA” so that the video runs smoothly with very low latency. On the two PCs that I mentioned above, it works very well with Force NVIDIA. The only drawback is that in this case it does not allow recording through Qgroundcontrol, that is why I include recording with Gstreamer in my software.

If you select, Force DirectX, you can record with Qgroundcontrol, but you have to reduce the image a little so that it runs smoothly, since DirectX uses the integrated graphics, at least in the tests I have carried out on my laptop, which has a graphics card. integrated Intel UHD 630 in addition to the GTX. Perhaps with better integrated graphics it will be perfect at maximum image quality with DirectX.

I’m sorry I went on so long in my response.

Best regards

4 Likes

The video looks great! I appreciated the various tests as I am unfamiliar with how all those settings affect the video. Keep us posted!

1 Like

I love the innovation and expansion that we are seeing on the Blue Robotics platform. Very cool project, and interested in your camera, especially with the varifocal (optical zoom?) lens. We will be ordering & building a new BROV2 soon, and the cameras are a critical piece for our use case.

Hi @AresROV

The intention is to incorporate a motorized lens with optical zoom, focus and iris. I am waiting to receive this lens to do tests. It will be: 3.6 to 11mm; 1/1.8" ; F1.5 ; 4k

The lens can be controlled with the joystick, like the rest of the parameters.

Best regards

Andrés

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Your camera solution is something i am looking for. I am working on a bridge inspection job and am facing pressure from the bridge owners with an excuse that my camera video images are poor. As i am running camera on a 1080 format. However, the water conditions and visibility isn’t very appealing most of the day in a month as we are in a channel…i am wondering if your camera would help of else i have to find a software that could clear up the video images…

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Wow that’s impressive! The software correction in particular is very cool. I’d be very interested in integrating this to our ROVs, given the default low-light camera has its limitations (but then I wouldn’t be surprised if Bluerobotics was already on the case).

Hi @richardo ,

Sorry for the delay in my response, I’ve been busy these days.

I don’t know exactly the conditions you have in your work area, but from what you say, I understand you have high turbidity.

Where I usually dive we have a medium/high turbidity, and thanks to the Anti-Fog parameter, among others, depth vision is greatly improved.

An example of this can be seen in the video I have shared. I attach two screenshots, to see it better, one with Anti-Fog and the other without it:

Playing with other camera parameters, in addition to Anti-Fog, even better results are achieved.

In any case, I insist that, since I do not know exactly your diving conditions, it is something that you have to evaluate yourself. But from my experience I think that the improvement with the BR2 USB 1080 camera is more than substantial, especially in difficult conditions.

When I have more audiovisual material, I will share it here. Let’s see if I can make a video with high turbidity well corrected.

Best regards

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Hi @Vincent ,

Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you like the result! As soon as the project is finished I will share it here for interested people.

I understand that Bluerobotics will be working on a solution for its camera, and it has also been mentioned in some posts on the forums. But hey, all improvements are welcome, the more options available the better for all lovers of this exciting world.

Best regards

4 Likes