Using VR goggles with an OpenROV 2.8

[EDIT - It works. Yes, you can use a 2.8 OpenROV with FPV goggles if they have an HDMI input. There may be other ways to get it to work, but this works for me. The setup is pretty intuitive, but scroll to the bottom if you want to see a picture of how I did it]

This image - entitled vr-control.png - is on the trident section of the OpenROV store, so we can safely assume that it will be possible to pilot the trident while wearing a headset. I’m getting sick of screen glare on the laptop while piloting my 2.8, and would love to also be able to use a VR headset. What I’m wondering is:

  • Are any people out there already using headsets with 2.8 ROVs?
  • if so, are they using the ones that require a cell phone or are they using FPV headsets like drone racers use
  • is there a physical connection between the laptop and the headset - e.g. USB - or is it done via wireless network
  • what software/firmware is needed to do this?
  • if nobody is currently doing this, what would be necessary to pull it off?
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I don’t know if this complicates or simplifies things, but I’d like to screencast from a chromebook. This may involve chrome’s remote desktop

TL;DR - I’m about to try chromebook + HDMI cable + FPV goggles.

Long version:
The chrome remote desktop didn’t work because google won’t let chromebooks stream to android phones Honestly, I understand why; google is thinking of both the chromebook and the android as the thin client that needs to connect to and run the applications of a desktop computer. They’re missing the point, though, that the chromebook is plenty “thick” enough to serve as a field use laptop: something capable enough to operate an ROV outdoors or use for data collection - think ethology event recorder - but still cheap enough you won’t gasp if it is damaged. There’s an untapped marked for researchers that Google could exploit if they thought about it…

The odd thing is that Google doesn’t abide by their own chomebooks-are-remote-desktop-recievers-only stance when it comes to IT departments. Chromebooks CAN function as remote desktop servers to allow IT departments to connect to them remotely and service the machine…but it appears that google currently (Dec. 2016) won’t allow an android phone to do the same. This annoys me greatly, but there are other methods to try for putting OpenROV output into FPV goggles.

Earlier today I used an HDMI cable to mirror the chromebook’s output to a TV. This worked fine, so I just ordered some FPV goggles - from an aircraft done website - that can use HDMI input. I’ll be trying this rather bulky unit because a) it is less expensive, and b) the 70 degree field of view and HD screen are closer to the OpenROV 2.8 specs than the [industry leading FatShark](http://industry leading FatShark goggles) goggles are.

The HeadSpace FPV headset has arrived, and I did a quick test by hooking it to my chromebook via an HDMI cable (normal HDMI on chromebook end, mini HDMI on the headset.) The chromebook can display the chrome browser on the headset with no issues…I watched the Schmidt Ocean folks’ live stream to youtube on the headset for a while.

Over the weekend, I hope to do the full test: ROV -> chromebook -> headset

It works. I can stream the ROV cockpit (i.e. the content of a chrome browser tab) from my chromebook to my FPV headset via an HDMI cable. Details below:

I’m sure you could do things differently if you want to have wireless for the controller and headset, or if you wanted to use a windows laptop instead of a chromebook. This works, though, and I’m happy with it. I will probably pick up another battery for the headset. They’re only supposed to last 40 minutes…


Why did you have to use an USB adapter for the XBox Game Pad as the XBox Game Pad has a USB connector which should be just Plug and Play with the USB ports on the HP Chromebook?
However, since the HP Chromebook does not appear to have an Ethernet Connector, you are going to have to have a Ethernet to USB converter for the OROV Topside Adapter.

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Thank you, good spot.

I’m not a gamer, so I don’t know much about xbox controllers. I walked into a big box store and bought the cheapest one they had that would plug into the laptop’s USB. It turns out that the thing I was calling a “USB adapter” is something microsoft calls an “inline cable release” and it appears to be a normal part of an xbox controller’s cable.

I’ve adjusted the image above, and edited the text accordingly. I also put in the USB ethernet adapter that you correctly spotted. I had left it out of the picture in the interest of simplicity, but you are right, I should include it. If anybody was trying to make decisions about a chromebook, they should know about the lack of an ethernet port. This is the adapter that I’m using.

It has an excess amount of plastic on the USB end, The extra width was making it impossible to plug in the other USB cable that goes to the topside box. I used an angle grinder to take the excess plastic off so they could both plug in.

The only reason for the chromebook was that I liked the idea of an inexpensive, light weight laptop with good battery life that wasn’t loaded with all my important data; i.e. I don’t want to take my primary laptop into the field and around water.

Nice update.:slight_smile:
About the ChromeBooks, many ChromeBooks only have two USB ports and your setup requires three unless you plan to power the Topside Adapter with its own battery.

I’m using this HP chromebook. It has three USBs - two on the right, and one on the left - along with one HDMI. Anybody thinking of a chromebook needs to check carefully to see if it has the ports they will want to use. This setup uses every available port, but if I needed more I could use an adapter.

I had both my chromebook and the ethernet adapter that had been ground down with me when we met up, but since we used your laptop, I didn’t get a chance to show it to you. I still need to build that gender-bender for the waterproof LED connectors.

I’ll message you so we can work on finding a time this break to get together.

Hi Joey,
Sounds good to me.:slight_smile:
I am about 3/4 of the way through converting my home brew vectored 6 thruster ROV chassis to the BlueROV2 chassis.

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Hi Joey,
I am thinking about getting one of the HeadPlay FPV Headsets since you seem very satisfied with their fit, finish and functionality.
I wear glasses for close up viewing, will the HeadPlay FPV work with glasses?
Also, how long is your HDMI cable?
You might be able to extend the battery life by disconnecting the power to the integrated receiver since you are only using HDMI?

I’m using an eight foot cable. I also wear glasses, but I have been taking them off to read. (I am super-nearsighted, and probably need a new prescription.) For me, the HeadSpace FPV works great without my glasses.

It is basically a 7" monitor at point blank range with a Fresnel magnifying lense between the screen and your eyes. It ships with two different lenses, and I’m using the default one. Some people choose to use this aftermarket non-fresnel lens instead of the using either of the ones that ship with the headset

I intend to buy an additional battery so I can take two with me into the field. The battery life is supposed to be around 40 minutes.


Unless there’s a rush, wait until you try my headset and see if it works for you. You may as well try it before you buy it.

Hi Joey,
True, but they go on back order quite frequently unfortunately.:grin:

These guys make custom prescription lenses for Headplay so you won’t need your glasses.

I’m waiting for my Trident and have a DJI drone already. So I’m thinking of buying the DJI Goggles to use with both the drone and Trident (DJI Goggles) can be connected via HDMI.

Anyone have comments of your preferred FOV for FPV goggles when used with the Trident?
HeadPlay 72 degrees
Fatshark, Zeiss Cinemizer ~30 degrees
I’ve seen video reviews of the HeadPlay where the drone pilots preferred a narrower FOV.

We are going to try the Headplay googles - because an ROV is (hopefully) moving much slower than a drone you shouldn’t need the narrower depth of field - the drone pilots need the narrower depth of field because they are going much faster and so need to see upcoming trees, poles etc much earlier.

Just ordered Trident and I can’t wait for its arrival.

I am using the HP chromebook9. It has three USBs 2 on the right and 1 on the left - along with one HDMI. This setup uses every available port, but if I needed more I could use an adapter.

I had both my Chromebook & the ethernet adapter that had been ground down with me but since we used your laptop, I didn’t get a chance to show it to you. I still need to build that gender-bender for the waterproof LED connectors.