I have a problem with one of my rainwater drains and I want to get a good look inside and of course I’d love to use the parts I have.
I want to build a very simple robot that can pull the camera into the tube using an Arduino (plus DC motor, H-bridge, a stepper for camera movement, some LEDs for light). This should be controlled by a laptop which is also needed to show the live footage from the camera.
The tube I want to examine is 100mm in diameter and max. 8 metres long - most probably I don’t need to go in the full length. It’s a metal tube so I guess wireless won’t be a good option.
And here is where I wonder how I should do the cabling: I think the robot could be connected with a long USB cable (long means around 6m) and the camera is a USB device. The motors and the LEDs of the robot may require a powered USB hub (the motor draws 120mA with no load except the attached gears).
The easiest solution I think is using two long USB cables and plug them to a powered USB hub together with the notebook. But then the robot has to pull two cables.
I thought about packing a USB hub onto the robot but all I could find are rather big and the plugs in a right angle to the length of the body which makes them impractical for my needs. The maximum diameter is 100mm and there may be less space the more I go into the tube so every millimetre counts.
Do you have any idea how I can achieve that with only one - possibly custom made - cable?
Is wireless ruled out if there is only one 90° turn at the beginning? There may be a line of sight to the moving robot beyond this turn although I don’t know for sure.