Hardware streams

Hardware streams can be added to a device's configuration to automatically ingest data from linux device files on the robot. Ingesting video streams from USB and IP cameras are supported.

Adding a new Hardware telemetry stream

To add a hardware telemetry stream,

  1. Open the Formant sidebar using the button in the top left of the screen
  2. Select Settings ⇒ Devices ⇒ Click on the device name
  3. Click the "Telemetry" tab
  4. Click "Add stream"
  5. Choose "Hardware"

USB webcam streams


Hardware stream configuration for a USB device

For USB devices, you can simply enter the path to the linux device file. Choices will be auto-populated by a dropdown if Formant can detect one or more. Once configured, the Formant agent will automatically read the image stream from the selected USB camera, encode it to H264, and ingest it as a video stream.

IP camera video streams


Hardware stream configuration for an IP device

IP cameras are cameras on your local network that you can connect to using RTSP or RTMP to get a video stream.

The general format of an RTSP URI of an IP camera is:


For example,

rtsp://admin:[email protected]:554/H264
rtsp://admin:[email protected]:2600/H264
rtsp://admin:[email protected]:2600/Streaming?Channel=1

For RTMP streaming, use rtmp://:/steam/live

Encoding required

Some RTSP streams are mpeg-4 or jpeg. In these cases, Formant needs to decode them and re-encode them into H264. Toggle this switch to ON if the video needs to be encoded.

Encoding Profile

Our frontend decoder only supports constrained-baseline or baseline H264 encoding “Profiles”. Some IP cameras let you change to baseline profile, but some are locked to main or high. If we detect that your camera is streaming the wrong profile, we decode it, and re-encode it with the correct profile.

Supports ONVIF

Some RTSP IP cameras support ONVIF Protocol. ONVIF supports discovery and Formant will populate the dropdown menu with discovered cameras on the device's network. If you are selecting a ONVIF camera from the menu, ensure Supports ONVIF is checked.
Please note that ONVIF does not apply to RTMP streams.


To add audio to a video stream, select an audio device from the audio hardware devices dropdown.