First, a glance at its capabilities:

Basically, this robot will move a camera/smartphone on a rail and “track” an object. The target object location is already known by the robot. The math behind this tracking system is quite simple. Take a look at the simulator we have created below: Just move the mouse and set a virtual location for the object to track. The camera, placed on a carriage as it moves, will point at the target object according to the info provided to the robot (that is: the target current location. Keep in mind that the robot already knows where the camera is).

Info provided to the robot (via the smartphone APP Android or iOS ):

  • Distance from the object to the rail
  • Distance from the object to the camera when it started to move

With these two values, the Arduino will be capable of knowing the camera position according to the object to track just calculating the arc-tangent. Easy!

Above: The robot know where the camera carriage is all the time (actually, it is in charge of moving the platform).

So, if you provide the X and Y coordinates of the target´s location, the robot has enough information to calculate the arctangent and accordingly, move the motors making the camera to point at the target

The speed and start/stop actions are controlled from your own smartphone (Android or iOS): For this, the smartphone has to be connected to the robot´s WIFI network. More details below.

As the speed can be adjusted as desired (from the smartphone), you can move the “camera carriage” as slow as desired, making possible to create TIME LAPSE videos.

GET THE CAMERA SLIDER KIT

Below: Example of a simple 15 minutes video (not tracking any object) condensed into a 15 seconds:

Below: In this case 1) a trunk, 2 meters away from the rail ,has been filmed for 5 hours (aprox). 2) A forest, with an imaginary point to be tracked which has been set 6 meters away from the rail (and has been recorded for 6 hours)

Below: another examples of the camera traveling along the rail and at the same time panning as it moves

Below: Time-lapse. An object has been placed very close to the rail and the camera is capable to keep it in the center even after 2 hours taking photos (1380 shots)

Below: Time-lapse. Sand pile. Distance from rail: 30 cms. 982 camera shots

INTERACTIVE 3D MODEL

Feel free to take a look at the 3D model of this project. That will help you to get an idea of how all the elements come together. In the model, the CAMERA SLIDER mounts a rail of 1000mm. All the videos shown above have been filmed using that size of rail and the 700mm length rail.

CONTROL APP

The control APP if freely available at Google Play or iTunes Store (click on the images below). It has been created to control, in a simple way, the camera slider. It will allow you to move the platform with almost any camera on top, with a predetermined speed. This speed can be modified in real time for cool video effects.  By default (the limits can be changed in the Arduino code), the travelling speed of the platform can be set from 0.01 mm/sec to 35 mm/sec

CAMERA SLIDER itunes control APP

 

Image below: a brief explanation of the controls of this APP. We recommend you to go to the CONTROL APP USER GUIDE to get the most of it.

 

GET THE CAMERA SLIDER KIT

Useful LINKS:

Assembly GUIDE

Control APP link (Google Play /  Android devices)

Control APP link (iTunes / iOS devices)

Control APP user guide

3D parts repository

Arduino CODE: info about how to upload to the Arduino board in the Assembly guide

We do not send SPAM, just new robots updates.

Let us know your thoughts on this