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Gigapixel Panorama Robot: Gigabot

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  • Bernhard Vogl
    The proof of concept works, so it s time to present: The Gigabot - an inexpensive robot construction for high resolution panorama shooting. Unlike other
    Message 1 of 12 , May 29, 2007
      The proof of concept works, so it's time to present:
      The "Gigabot" - an inexpensive robot construction for high resolution panorama shooting.
      Unlike other constructions that use the motor for driving the panohead, my construction flips sides and let the motor travel around a big disk mounted on the tripod.
      You can see a photo of the prototype here:
      http://dativ.at/temp/gigabot.jpg
      I hope to replace the wooden DIY parts with more elegant milled metal in the near future, though it is inherent to this construction that the large disk doesn't have to be high precision :-)

      The "proof of concept panorama":
      http://www.austria-360.at/wien/20070528_jwarte1_r_2row.htm

      Building up this construction in the public will definitely help starting a conversation with strangers... ;-)

      Best regards
      Bernhard
    • Ian Wood
      ... Tell me about it. :-) As part of a bursary I m currently working on (http://ivrpa.org/node/ 1288) I ve been taking the Frankenhead out on the local high
      Message 2 of 12 , May 29, 2007
        On 29 May 2007, at 10:27, Bernhard Vogl wrote:

        > Building up this construction in the public will definitely help
        > starting a conversation with strangers... ;-)

        Tell me about it. :-)

        As part of a bursary I'm currently working on (http://ivrpa.org/node/
        1288) I've been taking the Frankenhead out on the local high street.
        It always gathers a crowd...

        Ian
      • robert_harshman
        ... panorama shooting. ... Bernhard, I see you re using a Zigview on your system. Which one is it? Are you happy with it? If it s the S2 have you found the
        Message 3 of 12 , May 29, 2007
          --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "Bernhard Vogl" <bvogl@...> wrote:
          >
          > The proof of concept works, so it's time to present:
          > The "Gigabot" - an inexpensive robot construction for high resolution
          panorama shooting.

          > Bernhard
          >

          Bernhard,

          I see you're using a Zigview on your system. Which one is it? Are you
          happy with it? If it's the S2 have you found the remote part quite
          useful?

          Regards,

          Robert
        • runespaans
          Is that a Lego Mindstorms machine driving the pano head? Neat!! Rune
          Message 4 of 12 , May 29, 2007
            Is that a Lego Mindstorms machine driving the pano head? Neat!!

            Rune
          • Ian Wood
            Yes, it s LEGO Mindstorms NXT. Wonderful stuff. :-) You can see my version at . Ian
            Message 5 of 12 , May 29, 2007
              Yes, it's LEGO Mindstorms NXT. Wonderful stuff. :-)

              You can see my version at <http://ivrpa.org/taxonomy/term/1448>.

              Ian

              On 29 May 2007, at 15:55, runespaans wrote:

              > Is that a Lego Mindstorms machine driving the pano head? Neat!!
            • dmgalpha
              ... Your design reminds me of one Lloyd Burchill (Flexify s author) made one out the older Mindstorms. His can take full sphericals, but it is not intended to
              Message 6 of 12 , May 29, 2007
                --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "Bernhard Vogl" <bvogl@...> wrote:
                >

                > You can see a photo of the prototype here:
                > http://dativ.at/temp/gigabot.jpg

                Your design reminds me of one Lloyd Burchill (Flexify's author) made
                one out the older Mindstorms.

                His can take full sphericals, but it is not intended to be for
                ultra-high resolution images.

                They remind me of a project I finished several weeks ago. I attached a
                Wii Remote to a camera to record tilt and pitch. I found that the
                resolution of the Wii Remote was between 2 and 4 degrees. Too low
                to be useful for stitching, but good enough to remap images.
                The paper is to be presented in a conference next month (along
                with a summary of the projections we have added to panotools and hugin
                in the last month).

                My hope was to be able to record effectively pitch and roll to
                automatically merge the images without any control points. But
                for that one would require true inclinometers, which are significantly
                more expensive. Plus a digital compass

                > I hope to replace the wooden DIY parts with more elegant milled
                metal in the near future, though it is inherent to this construction
                that the large disk doesn't have to be high precision :-)
                >
                > The "proof of concept panorama":
                > http://www.austria-360.at/wien/20070528_jwarte1_r_2row.htm
                >
                > Building up this construction in the public will definitely help
                starting a conversation with strangers... ;-)
                >
                > Best regards
                > Bernhard
                >
              • Ian
                ... Tilt/acceleration sensors for LEGO Mindstorms, although still nowhere near accurate enough for
                Message 7 of 12 , May 29, 2007
                  --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "dmgalpha" <dmgerman@...> wrote:
                  > They remind me of a project I finished several weeks ago. I attached a
                  > Wii Remote to a camera to record tilt and pitch. I found that the
                  > resolution of the Wii Remote was between 2 and 4 degrees.

                  > My hope was to be able to record effectively pitch and roll to
                  > automatically merge the images without any control points. But
                  > for that one would require true inclinometers, which are significantly
                  > more expensive. Plus a digital compass

                  <http://hitechnic.com/index.html?lang=en-us&target=d1.html>

                  Tilt/acceleration sensors for LEGO Mindstorms, although still nowhere near accurate enough
                  for non-CP stitching. :-(

                  Ian
                • dmgalpha
                  ... nowhere near accurate enough ... The advantage of the Wii Remote is that it has bluetooth so I can do handheld photography while recording pitch and roll
                  Message 8 of 12 , May 29, 2007
                    --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "Ian" <panolists@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "dmgalpha" <dmgerman@> wrote:
                    > > They remind me of a project I finished several weeks ago. I attached a
                    > > Wii Remote to a camera to record tilt and pitch. I found that the
                    > > resolution of the Wii Remote was between 2 and 4 degrees.
                    >
                    > > My hope was to be able to record effectively pitch and roll to
                    > > automatically merge the images without any control points. But
                    > > for that one would require true inclinometers, which are significantly
                    > > more expensive. Plus a digital compass
                    >
                    > <http://hitechnic.com/index.html?lang=en-us&target=d1.html>
                    >
                    > Tilt/acceleration sensors for LEGO Mindstorms, although still
                    nowhere near accurate enough
                    > for non-CP stitching. :-(
                    >
                    > Ian

                    The advantage of the Wii Remote is that it has bluetooth so I can do
                    handheld photography while recording pitch and roll in the laptop. My
                    hope is
                    that (some) camera makers might include these sensors on board
                    and record their readings within the image.

                    With pitch and roll one can automatically remap fisheye or rectlinear
                    images into any projection of choice, including cylindricals. And one
                    can automatically fix perspective.

                    dmg


                    >
                  • Ian
                    ... One of the big features about NXT is that it has a BT connection. :-) There s even people using Wii Remotes to control NXT robots... I m currently using my
                    Message 9 of 12 , May 29, 2007
                      --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "dmgalpha" <dmgerman@...> wrote:
                      > The advantage of the Wii Remote is that it has bluetooth so I can do
                      > handheld photography while recording pitch and roll in the laptop. My
                      > hope is
                      > that (some) camera makers might include these sensors on board
                      > and record their readings within the image.

                      One of the big features about NXT is that it has a BT connection. :-) There's even people
                      using Wii Remotes to control NXT robots...

                      I'm currently using my mobile phone as the remote control, either to run a complete cycle
                      of 6-around at -10 degrees plus zenith, or by entering pitch and yaw steps for camera
                      position and then using the keypad to 'jump' from one camera position to the next.

                      In the long run, I'll connect it up to the laptop remotely with a control app that allows you
                      to state lens & overlap, and it will then work out all the positions automatically, control the
                      head and build a 'starting point' template with file names already entered.

                      Ian

                      P.S. It would be great news for a *lot* of people if the camera manufacturers would put
                      orientation data in with the images - most of them already have portrait/landscape
                      sensors, so it's a logical next step.
                    • dmgalpha
                      ... ok, I am buying an NXT today ;) here is a photo of my setup. My original goal was not to shoot panoramas, but to remap lots of fisheye images
                      Message 10 of 12 , May 29, 2007
                        --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "Ian" <panolists@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "dmgalpha" <dmgerman@> wrote:
                        > > The advantage of the Wii Remote is that it has bluetooth so I can do
                        > > handheld photography while recording pitch and roll in the laptop. My
                        > > hope is
                        > > that (some) camera makers might include these sensors on board
                        > > and record their readings within the image.
                        >
                        > One of the big features about NXT is that it has a BT connection.
                        :-) There's even people
                        > using Wii Remotes to control NXT robots...

                        ok, I am buying an NXT today ;)

                        here is a photo of my setup. My original goal was not to shoot
                        panoramas, but to remap lots of fisheye images automatically. Next
                        week I'll
                        have the first "real world" test (an event). So far the
                        proof-of-concept works.

                        http://turingmachine.org/~dmg/temp/cameraWiiRemote.jpg

                        dmg
                      • Bernhard Vogl
                        Hello Robert ... It s a Zigview S2, the one with a detach-able monitor. It s a small fingercam in a housing with a monitor, so as long as you expect the image
                        Message 11 of 12 , May 29, 2007
                          Hello Robert
                          > I see you're using a Zigview on your system. Which one is it? Are you
                          > happy with it? If it's the S2 have you found the remote part quite
                          > useful?
                          It's a Zigview S2, the one with a detach-able monitor.

                          It's a small fingercam in a housing with a monitor, so as long as you
                          expect the image quality to be "video-grade", not "photo-grade", it can
                          be quite useful (The built-in mini camera has 270K pixels, the monitor
                          230K).
                          I found it very practical to set up the robot's parameters in the field
                          by visually assigning them. This means, i teach the robot the left and
                          right border and how far to move after one photo. Doing this without
                          having to look through the fiewfinder is very comfortable.
                          I didn't buy the cable extension as i don't have any use for it at the
                          moment, but this may change. So it's good to know that at least it's
                          possible...

                          Best regards
                          Bernhard
                        • Ian
                          ... Mine turned up this morning, and I m pretty happy with it on first inspection. I d already been thinking about getting one, then a couple of days ago saw a
                          Message 12 of 12 , May 30, 2007
                            --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, Bernhard Vogl <bvogl@...> wrote:

                            > > I see you're using a Zigview on your system. Which one is it? Are you
                            > > happy with it? If it's the S2 have you found the remote part quite
                            > > useful?
                            > It's a Zigview S2, the one with a detach-able monitor.
                            >
                            > It's a small fingercam in a housing with a monitor, so as long as you
                            > expect the image quality to be "video-grade", not "photo-grade", it can
                            > be quite useful (The built-in mini camera has 270K pixels, the monitor
                            > 230K).

                            Mine turned up this morning, and I'm pretty happy with it on first inspection. I'd already
                            been thinking about getting one, then a couple of days ago saw a little video of Bernhard
                            using one and finally took the plunge.

                            Low-light performance isn't amazing (gets pretty blotchy), but it's a lot better than feared
                            - in a near-black room with the camera needing 20s @ f8, 100ISO, the Zigview was still
                            showing enough info to have a good idea of what would be included in the frame. Detail-
                            wise, you can read the exposure info on my 5D clearly, and can make out the focus
                            rectangles clearly as long as they aren't against a black background, the red focus
                            rectangle is also clearly visible making the use of AF just about possible for non-pano
                            stuff. The remote screen has a two-step shutter button, so can can focus properly then
                            release.
                            It uses a Nikon-style EN-EL5 battery rather than some totally non-standard thing, so
                            picking up extra batteries won't be *too* bad.
                            Build quality in places is so-so, but on a par for the price.

                            Anyway, to bring it back to panoramas, I now have a motorised head with a remote
                            control, plus a remote screen to see the exact view in the viewfinder. For high-res partials
                            on a big tripod this is going to be a life-saver. :-)

                            Ian

                            P.S. It'll all be coming with me to Berkeley next month and Lucerne in August, so there'll be
                            a few opportunities to fiddle with it...
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