GoPro as a replacement for the web cam


Hi all,

I am new here and just starting the process of putting together OpenROV based ROV. I am planning on using GoPro as a camera instead of webcam. Reason being that I want to get 4K footage (not over tether of course) and since it is possible to get video out of GoPro over either composite or HDMI, I thought it might be worth while to test it.

First question: Has someone done so already and how exactly? BeagleBone of course doesn't have input for those, but things like Sabrent USB Video/Audio capture card should work on Linux as well. So I was thinking that it should be feasible to use image from Sabrent card instead of webcam.

I know it would be simpler to just have webcam handle the image to surface and carry GoPro just as a payload, but since it is there, you might as well us it. Plus low light vision should be significantly better.


Kari Kolehmainen


Hey Kari,

I have been doing research on what it would take to pipe real-time gopro footage to the surface. I've been focused on keeping both latency and cost down, and the best option I have seen to date is a third party card that will convert the feed to an mjpeg stream and pipe it directly over tcpip. You could then add a micro hub in the ROV and let it run video independent of the beaglebone.

Check this out for details:


Hi Brian,

That looks an interesting project. I am not so concerned getting HD or 4K image to the surface except on the GoPro memory card. There is going to be a couple of 10k lumen video lights lighting the scene :)

I want to see the Open ROV controls on the overlay so going thru beagle bone is probably necessary. I have EasyCAP USB capture card ordered. It is hard to tell which exact model it is since there are quite a few, but with some luck it should work fine with easycap Linux kernel extension. Next step is then to add GoPro controls, which is going to mean WiFi addition to the beagle bone...

It remains to be seen how much work it is to see the image on OpenROV screen...


It will be fun to see what you come up with. Do note that the cockpit overlays are all done topside in javascript, so sending a video stream that bypasses the beaglebone but can be loaded by the browser in cockpit is a reasonable approach.

Since you won't be using the standard webcam, the USB will be free so one of the linux friendly usb wifi adapters that has been shown to handle peer wifi connections should be an easy addition.


Just got the 2.7 controller board for Christmas and I was able to do some inital testing. Everything works out of the box. GoPro Hero3 with composite video out USB cable, generic USB video grabber as a webcam replacement. Next step is to get everything potted and tested to 250m depth :)


That's cool. I eagerly await future updates!


Hi. I tried to supplement my on-board camera (which has good low light visibility) with a GoPro, and was surprised how bad the quality of the GoPro was in comparison. GoPros seem to need a lot of light, and that's not available in most aquatic environments.

Here's some video I shot today, and it wasn't with a GoPro (I have the video output from my board camera recorded on a MacBook Pro).