Author Topic: Need to build a rotating camera device  (Read 2900 times)

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Offline phoenix1Topic starter

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Need to build a rotating camera device
« on: December 11, 2010, 11:11:50 PM »
Hi,
I am working on a project that requires me to build what is essentially a camera monopod, but with a head that rotates 360 degrees (in 13 increments) and vertically 180 degrees (in 11 increments).
This new device will be an improvement over an existing design, which uses servo motors (would stepper motors be better?). Problem with that device is that its made of wood and the movements are very inaccurate.
The object is to take 100+ pictures which are then put together in a panorama-like picture.
Money is not a problem, I should be able to afford the needed parts.

I have no experience working with servo motors or robotics. Any helpful advice that gives me a better understanding or even tutorials that show me how to build something like this are welcome.
 

Offline MrWizard

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Re: Need to build a rotating camera device
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2010, 03:43:12 AM »
If you can program the camera to take pictures every 2 seconds, you can use the $50 boardcontroller to control the 2 servo's  to move and wait. In this way you split up the functions, but in this way you have to time everything.
Use accurate Servo's.  Otherwise the steppermotors will be the solution.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Need to build a rotating camera device
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2010, 02:51:44 PM »
Hi,

I am working on a project that requires me to build what is essentially a camera monopod,
You'll have to make a very stable stand for it. More important than any number of snaps.


but with a head that rotates 360 degrees (in 13 increments) and vertically 180 degrees (in 11 increments).
Sounds like quite an overlap for stitching?
360°/12=30°each step and if you really do mean 360°/13, it's ~27.7°/step.
Or are you perhaps planning on using a short tele lens?


This new device will be an improvement over an existing design, which uses servo motors (would stepper motors be better?). Problem with that device is that its made of wood and the movements are very inaccurate.
It's not the material that determines precision.
The best way to get precise steps is to use position feedback and that can be used with a DC motor as well as a stepper.


The object is to take 100+ pictures which are then put together in a panorama-like picture.
You can do that with much less photos, so why the large amount?


Money is not a problem, I should be able to afford the needed parts.
If that's so, I just saw a very nice gimbal mount that could be converted, but you could build a fine system yourself, if you are into mechanics and know how to use tools.

Is this for a regular size (D)SLR or what camera are you planning to use?
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline phoenix1Topic starter

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Re: Need to build a rotating camera device
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 11:22:42 AM »
The large amount of pictures because I am just trying to replicate the process. It's not exactly a panorama. The pictures are put together but not blended together. The object is to be able to map them onto a sphere (globe). It's a complicated process and probably not very efficient but the goal right now is just to find a better way to take the pictures.

The camera I'm using is a regular SLR Nikon camera. Pictures are taken with a 50mm lens.

I think stepper motors are probably the better option

I don't have much experience with mechanics so if there is something out there that can be converted it would be the preferred option, granted that it does what's required.

How would the gimbal mount be converted?
I looked up Newmark systems and they also sell a motion controller so that could just be programmed to take a certain number of steps.

How would you recommend making the stand more stable?

Offline azy

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Re: Need to build a rotating camera device
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 01:11:32 AM »
there an astronomy program called desire (free) which will take snaps automatically , it also lets you twiddle with light & color balance settings etc

the downside is the "desire" window must be on top , this may be an issue. A lot of webcam progs seem to have this problem, its pretty annoying at times.

any one know of a better auto snapper that can run minimized ?


a large weight with rubber or elastic dampers will help keep the camera steady

a fixed perspex shield or dome marked with angle notches will let you know where you are looking. I use these to protect the cam as well as feedback of degrees rotation

how high do you have to go ?
does it need to be telescopic ?
are you using a web cam or DSLR ?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 01:24:09 AM by azy »

Offline phoenix1Topic starter

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Re: Need to build a rotating camera device
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 11:15:56 PM »
I will be using a DSLR, not a webcam. It doesn't need to be telescopic, just needs to be able to tilt and rotate. From +90 vertically to -90.
I've decided to use a stepper motor. Does anyone have any advice on how to pick the appropriate stepper motor for this project?

 


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