Award Winners

Honorable Mention
THETA Monitoring System

Tsukasa Horinouchi

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THETA Monitoring System uses RICOH THETA to obtain 360-degree spherical images and detects moving objects and their directions. This system can be used in many applications. The following is a list of sample applications.

  • Detecting intruders as part of a security system.
  • Keeping track of the movement of a household pet while the residents are away.
  • A virtual enemy placed in the field in a survival game: it can attack players.

【Configuration and function】 
In the submission, we implemented a mini home security device with a bit of military taste. This system consists of two major subsystems: device side that uses RICOH THETA, and the user side that uses smartphone. Functions of the subsystems are as follows.

<Device side>
RICOH THETA, Raspberry Pi, servomotor, and a gun turret

  • Capturing 360-degree spherical images all the time by connecting RICOH THETA and Raspberry Pi.
  • Detecting a moving object and its direction using image processing technology.
  • Moves the gun turret in the direction of the moving object using serve motor when a moving object is detected.
  • Sends the direction of the moving object to the user's smartphone via cloud.

<Smartphone side>

  • Monitoring the moving object (its direction) near the RICOH THETA using web app.
  • Launching a rocket on the turret in the device subsystem by tapping on the "Fire" button.
  • Saving the image of the rocket launch in Raspberry Pi.


  • You can detect moving objects in a house while you are away.
  • You can launch a rocket any time you want.

【Future perspective】

  • Enhance the attacking method.
  • Make it possible to check the images on the smartphone by using Ricoh cloud API. (We tried to use cloud API, but failed to do so because we could not connect to the server very well.)

RICOH THETA is known for its capability of capturing 360-degree spherical movies and photos. It seems that it is used mainly for funny photos or virtual reality. I have tried my hands on these since I am the owner and aficionado of RICOH THETA myself. I have maintained a VR site Area360 ( on my own, and produced "little planet photos" and got awards in official RICOH Instagram contest (@tth1201) and RICOH Imaging photo contest 2016. When I think about what I can do with RICOH THETA in this contest of RICOH THETA and the IoT, I wanted to come up with a brand new usage. So I decided to use RICOH THETA simply as high-performance 360-degree image sensor, and added the element of image processing technology and developed the system submitted to the contest.

It may be that the original idea and/or motivation might be close to those of games such as "Next Number VR360". But the perfection of the implementation was evaluated highly as well as the interesting nature of the application: the gadget worked much more precisely than the judges had expected. The system recognizes an intruder using 360-degree image, and starts to track it. So we see much potential for real-life application.

Interview with the award winners
I love RICOH THETA. I take many photos by using RICOH THETA in daily life and while traveling and post them to Instagram. 2016 is “an age of THETA” for me. I won the prizes in the Instagram contest, photo contest and two spherical photo contests. I really appreciate this big prize at the end. I’m planning to go into the robotics field by using RICOH THETA next year!