Oil and gas companies spend millions of dollars on inspection of pipelines every year. The type of equipment used in carrying out the inspections is very sophisticated and requires very specialized manpower. In this article we present a novel approach to pipeline inspection using a small mobile robot and an omnidirectional vision system. It is a combination of a reflective convex mirror and a perspective camera. Panoramic videos captured by the camera from the mirror are either stored or transmitted to a monitoring station to examine the inner surface of the pipeline. The videos are prepped, unwrapped, and unwarped to get a realistic image of the whole inner surface area of the pipeline. Several mirror shapes and unwarping techchniques are used here to show the efficiency of this inspection technique. The image acquisition is instantaneous with a large field of view, which makes their use in dynamic environment suitable. The cost of such system is relatively low compared to other available inspections systems.


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