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May 28, 2009

Olympus announces new Active guide tube

World's first (*)Active industrial videoscope

Potential uses include searching in rubble during post-disaster rescue operations.

Guide tube Guide tube fitted to videoscope

Guide tube

Guide tube fitted to videoscope

Active Guide Tube for IPLEX FX IV8675 Industrial Videoscope

Olympus Corporation (Olympus, President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) has started production of an active guide tube for industrial videoscopes. The company will begin to accept orders on May 28, 2009, and deliveries will commence three months thereafter.

An industrial videoscope uses an ultra-compact camera mounted on the tip of a long, thin insertion tube to provide views of spaces where human operators are unable to enter. Typically, these videoscopes are used mainly for internal inspections of automobile and aircraft engines, building maintenance, and other applications where access is limited. However, an equally important application is the use of these instruments in rescue operations at disaster sites.

Normally, the flexible insertion tube can be pushed and navigated through a small opening to the inspection area but in some rescue operations a rough surface or obstacle may prevent further movement. For those situations, Olympus developed a new scope that is capable of propelling itself forward. This new scope, the Active Guide Tube, improves its ability to get into hard-to-reach areas and enhances the chances to find survivors. A scope equipped with this active guide tube is able to move forward under its own power and can be used in a much wider range of search and rescue operations because of its ability to probe deeper into rubble.

Olympus Corporation is the first to commercialize a device of this type. The technology was developed through collaborative research involving Olympus Corporation, Tohoku University and the International Rescue System Institute.

As of May, 2009. This statement is based on Olympus research and applies to industrial videoscopes.

Overview of Launch

Product Name Start Date for Orders
Active Guide Tube for IPLEX FX IV8675
Industrial Videoscope
May 28, 2009

Principal Features

  1. World's first (*) self-propelling system for industrial videoscopes
  2. 7.5m long and just 25mm thick-designed for insertion into confined spaces
  3. Designed to operate using the scope's power source for optimal mobility

Details of Principal Features

1.World's first (*) self-propelling system for industrial videoscopes
The Activeguide tube consists of a flexible tube covered in cilia (similar to toothbrush bristles) and miniaturized vibrating motors. The cilia, which are diagonally implanted in the tube surface, provide propulsive force when they are continually vibrated by the motors.
The attachment of this product turns an industrial videoscope into a self-propelling system that can be used to view areas that were inaccessible to ordinary scopes. This dramatically enhances the ability to penetrate collapsed structures or rubble.

The guide tube may not be able to provide self-propulsion on some surfaces, such as surfaces with low friction resistance, or soft surfaces such as carpets.

Self-Propulsion Mechanism

Self-Propulsion Mechanism
Detailed information on the self-propulsion function can be found on the following website.

2.7.5m long and just 25mm thick-designed for insertion into confined spaces
Measuring just 25mm in diameter, the guide tube can be inserted even into confined spaces. With a length of 7.5m when attached to a videoscope, it can be used in a wide range of situations, including disaster sites.

3.Designed to operate using the scope's power source for optimal mobility
Power for this product is supplied by the battery built into the IPLEX FX IV8675 industrial videoscope, and no additional battery is required for the guide tube itself. This feature ensures optimal mobility in locations with poor accessibility, such as disaster sites.
Both this product and the IPLEX FX IV8675 are designed to resist dust and moisture penetration and can be used with confidence even in bad weather.

Principal Specifications for Active Guide Tube for IPLEX FX IV8675 Industrial Videoscope

Outer diameter 25mm
Insertion tube length (effective length) 7.5m (7.0m)
Vibration locations Three locations (front, middle, rear), capable of independent vibration using switches
Dust and moisture protection Yes

Principal Specifications for IPLEX FX IV8675 Industrial Videoscope

Model IPLEX FX IV8675 Industrial Videoscope
Field of View 40º, 80º, 120º
(Selectable using optical adaptor)
Direction of view Direct (forward), lateral, stereo measurement
(Selectable using optical adaptor)
Photographic element CCD
Lighting method LED
Articulation angle 6mm series: 150º up, down, right, left
Insertion tube Highly durable TTF tube (designed to resist crushing and abrasion) with flexibility gradually increasing toward the distal end for enhanced ease of insertion
Dust/water protection Insertion tube: Waterproof (unaffected by contact with machine oil, diesel oil or 5% salt water)
Main unit: Dust/Rain-proof
Camera control unit (CCU) Zoom Seamless 3x zoom
Extended exposure 1/60-1/2 sec. (Slower shutter speeds provide sufficient exposure in dark locations.)
Gain Low, standard, boost (selectable)
Digital recording unit Still image recording/playback JPEG
Audio recording/playback WAV
Video recording/playback AVI M-JPEG
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