The first step of the hardware building of the PONF project has been done. The image gallery shows the backstage transforming a vintage 70’s analog reflex to the development platform for the electronic back of the PONF dual-back camera.
The next project will be published, soon available on Tindie.com is the TiltPan Micro Camera Arduino Shield. In the following video you can see the prototype on-the-move.
- Dual-axis tilt and pan 180 Deg movement with micro servos
- Board shield arduino compatible with Duemilanove, Diecimila, Arduino UNO R1/R2
- include a full HD micro camera
- Shooting and video saved on the camera micro SD (up to 32Gb)
- Arduino library provided with the shield (under development)
- Can be easily adapted to other cameras
- Full camera control (power, shooting mode, etc.)
- Can capture time-lapse variable sequences
- Independent power supply for the camera and servos
- Can capture semi-spherical panoramas (need separate stictch software to assemble the image)
- Independent axis movement in the sequences (tilt-only, pan-only) or synchronized movement (tilt-pan together)
- More options and features are under testing
The video below shows a sequence only created with the device.
- One shoot every 4 seconds
- First move from left-bottom to up-right, 1 Deg step on the longer axis (pan rotation)
- Second move from the previous position to the middle position, pan rotation only, 1 Deg step
- 512 frames shoot in the same position
The microcamera case should be connected to the microdrone arm support, the white component in the slideshow below. The two-parts arm-support has the advantage to be oriented and locked in different azimuth positions between 0 DEG (ground alignment) and about 60 DEG.
A well known limitation is that, due the very reduced size of the microdrone (about 14×14 cm) it is also reduced its payload weight so it is was excluded a priori any sort of automated camera movement control. Instead the stabilization of the video shooting is reached with rubber supports.
Another problem found during tests is setting the camera to the most vertical position (60-70 DEG). Due the unbalanced weight between the lenses body and the rest of the circuit when the camera is in a quasi-vertical position the drone tend to be unbalanced on the front side. This problem can be solved in two ways: adding a variable-length back queue to the drone body with the advantage of right balance and more stability or – a more complex solution – moving the camera second-half arm support almost in the same position of the lenses body.
The drone legs should be changed as the camera body increase the total drone height. A temporary solution, as shown in the images, has been found adopting commercial plastic hose clamps. These will be replaced by a carbon-fiber flexible and very lightweight part under construction.
It has been completed a few days ago the microcamera prototype ultra-lightweight plastic container and support. It will be mounted on the drone and other remote camera control supports.
The tests done with the support connected to a microdrone got very good results. See the next “MicroDrone project” posts for more images and updates.
The support has been milled in super compact plastic foam lightweight and robust. The entire prototyping procedure needs about a couple of hours. The images below shows the machine at work.
The prototype CAD design while machining
Milling the prototype case