I'm currently trying to make this work as part of my senior year project at school/for my school's ROV team.
I'm still in the planning phase but would like to start testing and building software soon. I was thinking of picking up some cheap webcams just as a proof of concept, maybe these cameras. or these ones. I've read that in order to reduce sickness 720p video at 60 fps is ideal, so this seems like a close match and I can return them easily if it doesn't work.
I'm thinking that this might be the camera I put on the ROV but I'm not 100% positive it will work. I have access to lots of cat5/5e/6 cable or could convert it to fiberop cable with stuff at the school. the tether will be 50-100 feet. so USB 3.0 might be out of the question, but I have considered this camera with an extender. The USB 3.0 camera is cheaper, but the cables could make it more expensive/ more of a hassle.
As for the distortion, the bubble dome from our old ROV seems to cause some barrel distortion. I'm hoping this will counter act the pin cushion distortion from the Rift. If not, I should be able to get some fish eye lenses or maybe implement a software fix.
The cameras will be mounted to a 2-axis gimbal so we can take advantage of the Rift's head tracking. I'm hoping this will allow the pilot to be able to look around in a natural way, while still piloting the ROV in a straight line. It should be interesting to see how the distortion of the dome affects the panning cameras.
I'm really not sure how to go from video output to something the OR can handle so it should be interesting to say the least. A friend of mine has suggested I use Linux for the OS to have the most control over the video processing as possible. Which I have no experience with. Also, our current system is windows based, mainly just running labview, which can be used on Linux, but the members of years past have said they use Windows XP because they had problems with labview and newer versions of windows. I don't want to bring in any new problems if I don't have to.
To recap: I'm going to start with webcams and work on a proof of concept then work up from there. Any insight/tips/ things I've just completely missed, would be a great help.