What Is a Videoscope?

Mary McMahon

A videoscope is designed to be inserted into small openings and confined spaces to relay images from inside. It consists of a small camera mounted on a length of cable that can be controlled by the operator. Also known as a video borescope, the device has a wide range of applications. A number of manufacturers produce models along with replacement parts and accessories for various settings. Costs for the equipment can depend on the level of functionality and image quality.

Doctors can utilize scopes to look inside their patients with a minimum of disruption.
Doctors can utilize scopes to look inside their patients with a minimum of disruption.

The camera and cable connect to a portable base unit. It may be possible to view images directly on the base unit or to plug it into a larger monitor. The operator turns the videoscope on, carefully threads the head of the device through an opening, and pushes the cable through. As the camera moves, it provides a real-time image of the environment, until it reaches the end destination. The operator can adjust the focus and move the camera as needed to examine different features of interest.

Cabling on a videoscope can be extremely small, which makes it possible to insert the device through very small openings and into spaces with limited room. The devices can be used for activities like checking the quality of internal welds and looking inside delicate systems to determine the causes of errors. Operators can record the data to review later in addition to looking at the information in real time. This can allow them to spot things which may have been missed on the initial pass while looking at real time video.

One important application for the videoscope is in nondestructive testing of materials and components. Technicians may want to be able to inspect internal surfaces and other features of a product without causing damage. The videoscope allows them to do this, complete with magnifying heads to provide a very high level of detail. This can allow operators to spot cracks, bubbles, and other flaws that might lead to failure or other problems with the equipment in the future.

Similar technology is also used in medical imaging. Doctors can utilize such equipment to look inside their patients with a minimum of disruption. The videoscope limits the risk of damages like perforations and provides a very high quality image of internal structures, tumors, and other subjects of interest inside the body. This may allow a doctor to skip potentially invasive diagnostic testing like exploratory surgery or biopsy.

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