Manhole Inspection Tool (Johnnie 5)

Project Description

This is the “Manhole Inspection Tool” that I designed and built for several projects. The projects that it was built for were stormwater/wastewater infrastructure mapping & assessment projects. The tool acquired the nickname “Johnnie 5” from the field crews using the tool who thought it resembled the robot from the movie “Short Circuit”. Rather than enter a manhole, which engages several significant health & safety regulations, the idea was to lower this tool into the manhole and record data and inspect remotely.

The tool is basically a “down hole” high resolution video camera with several different illuminators. There is an array of “line” lasers that draw a grid in the viewing area for scale. The red laser grid lines are visible in several of the manhole/pipe pictures. Additionally, J5 includes an imbedded processor that operates the IMU (inertial measurement unit), magnetometer based compass, GPS, and the video overlay circuit. As a result tilt, roll and the direction that the camera is facing are overlain on the video. A compass rose and the tilt and roll measurements (degrees) are shown in the video and stills from the tool. The unit is mounted on a 25' surveyors telescopic level rod to reach down into fairly deep manholes. The unit also includes a small video monitor and DVR that records to SD car

This unit is actually Version 3. The next version in planning and will include 3D mapping.

Project Details
  • Company: