Instructables

Camera Panorama robot head (panograph)

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Picture of Camera Panorama robot head (panograph)
Ever wanted to take pictures of a panoramic scene at the press of a single button? This instructable will teach you how to build a robotic head to mount your camera on, which in turn mounts on a tripod. The robotic head will move in two axes to enable the camera to be panned left and right as well as up and down

There are a few pre-requisites:

I've used a Canon camera which is loaded with CHDK alternative firmware. *check comment on this later on. Visit http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK to check your camera compatability.

A little soldering is involved as well as some practical mechanical skills

This is released under Creative CommonsAttribution-Share alike 3.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

 
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Step 1: Build Steps

Here I've added an index which I hope will make things easier for you.

1 Upper Rig assembly
2 Gear bearing assembly
3 Servo PCB wiring & fixing
3 Picaxe programming
4 Final assembly
5 Load CHDK on your camera
6 Calibration
7 Example panoramas shot in location in North Wales

Step 2: Shopping List

Picture of Shopping List
1x Brookes basic tilt frame for KAP http://www.kapshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=6_26_42&products_id=159 9 pounds 50p

1x Brookes better gear guide http://www.kapshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=6_26_42&products_id=75 8 pounds

camera bush screw http://www.kapshop.com/product_info.php?products_id=231 2 pond

2X servo motors http://www.mutr.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=13_530&products_id=1009437 3 pounds each (You'll need an extra one if your not firing the shutter with CHDK)

1x picaxe servo board (AXE024) http://194.201.138.187/epages/Store.storefront/?ObjectPath=/Shops/Store.TechSupplies/Products/AXE024 7 pounds 50p

2x Gear sets http://194.201.138.187/epages/Store.storefront/?ObjectPath=/Shops/Store.TechSupplies/Products/GWC031 one pound each

22mm aluminium cylinder cut to 50mm length (can be much shorter depending on your tripod head clearence) http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ALUMINIUM-ROUND-BAR-ROD-5-8-DIA-x-250mm-Long_W0QQitemZ270282531024QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_BOI_Metalworking_Milling_Welding_Metalworking_Supplies_ET?hash=item3eee1820d0&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=|301:0|293:1|294:30

1 four cell AA battery holder + PP3 battery clip

various nuts, bots & split washers

tie clips

1x toggle switch

for noise supression

4x clip on ferrite noise supressors
4x 100nF ceramic capacitors

tools

dremmel type drill with attachments

1/4-20 tap for attaching rig to tripod
M4 tap for attaching rig to tripod mount cylinder

soldering iron

multimeter

Cable for programming the picaxe http://194.201.138.187/epages/Store.storefront/?ObjectPath=/Shops/Store.TechSupplies/Categories/SoftwareCables/CablesAdapters 3 pound (you will need a serial to usb adapter also if your pc does not have a serial port

vertical drill stand, or access to a workshop to drill holes in aluminium rod ready for tapping

Step 3: 1 Upper Rig build pt 1

Picture of 1 Upper Rig build pt 1
IMG_4356.JPG
Upper Rig build Pt 1 : Mount Stepper motor to the rig

Attach a stepper motor to the outside cradle of the rig using 2 4mm diam. nuts and bolts.
jporter279 months ago
If I wanted to mod this so the frame could hold a DSLR, would I need a larger frame or would the one in the description do?

Also, as the weight of a dslr/lens is greater than the camera in the example, would the server motors need to be stronger?
nix784 years ago
 That's not a stepper motor, that's a servo, I believe. 
VadimS nix783 years ago
You would be correct.
shmootz3 years ago
Thanks for the instructable. Just wondering, does this need to be done with a Canon? I have a Nikon d40x which I would like to use with this... Thanks.
waldy (author)  shmootz3 years ago
Hi smootz, you can use a Nikon, however you'll need an extra servo with an arm to trigger the shutter manually at each position. I have used the canon firmware alternative called CHDK which allows electronic shutter release via the usb port
regards Waldy
nix784 years ago
It is also worth noting that on should adjust the position of the camera in the "upper rig" (or tilt frame) so that the nodal point of the camera is as near as possible to the intersection of the horizontal and vertical rotational axises. This way, one could minimize the parallax error.
The gear ratios could be simply 1:1 for the horizontal axis and 2:1 for the vertical, because most servos can do +-90 degrees rotation, and the torque should be enough to hold a compact digital cam (not DSLRs, of course).

(Pardon my English, it's only my second language, and I'm also a bit excited, because I just won an auction for a camera for a similar project of mine. :) )
waldy (author)  nix784 years ago
 Cool,  let us know how you get on with your project
i need some information about robotic method of work this information help for impliment in human body ok
waldy (author)  boobathi20084 years ago
Hi, what info do you need that hasn't been provided? regards W.
Maggy1604 years ago
Waldy has had a discusion on http://www.picaxeforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=12754 about material and software improvements. Waldy, it would be very much appreciated by those who want to build this panobot if you could give us an update about the code you're using now as well as pehaps other choice of servo's?
waldy (author)  Maggy1604 years ago
Hi Maggy, apologies for the delayed reply. One key thing I learned from the picaxe forum ws that once the servo command is issued, the code moves on immediately without waiting for the servo to finish moving. This obviously caused timing problems in my original code. I've posted the new code in step 10. with appropriate delays inserted which I hope I've named sensibly. As for the quality of the servo's, the listed servo works well for horizontal movement as this is close to the center of gravity of the camera. The vertical movement servo is not however, and depending on the weight of the camera may cause the servo to twitch whilst not activated. I expect a higher quality servo should solve that, or even , as suggested in the picaxe forum, a light spring to take some tension Do let us know how you all get on with this, perhaps post some pics best regards Waldy
jaredarm5 years ago
That is too weird! I recently got into panoramas and the whole 300 degree stereographics and little planets. And then i was also recently introduced to Max/Msp/Jitter and I thought, hey wouldn't it be cool to build an automatic panorama shooter.... HAHA! I really wanna build this now!
pitty5 years ago
Great Instructable, I think I am going to build one with a few modifications for my camera. Would you be able to provide a longer description of what each of the symbol commands in the program represent in relation to the position of the rig, and the what the 2 delays are for. Thanks
thepelton pitty5 years ago
Delays would make it possible for a person to set up the panorama camera, and then sit down in the picture area. Here I am at the Grand Canyon!
lucastro5 years ago
I've just recently discovered the wonders possible with CHDK.. I was making a timelapse the other night and thought it would be awesome to have a device just like this, only to achieve a pseudo 'handheld' camera effect. was thinking maybe film a short piece, motion track it somehow, slow it down accordingly during the time lapse. Nice Instructable.. could you control the mount via the camera usb.. ie write the control parameters into the script? oo the motion tracking possibilities! Sorry you've got me all excited.
waldy (author)  lucastro5 years ago
Hi, I'm in early discussions with a chap on the chdk forum about just the very same thing, communication between the camera & the rig & vice-versa. it will involve using the camera blue led & the usb port. You're right, once the comms is in place, scripting to your equirements becomes possible. watch this space for developments
shadowman25 years ago
The G9 rulez (i have it)
Very Cool!
waldy (author) 5 years ago
Thanks, I've added comments to the code to describe each variable (symbol).(Do ask if this needs clarification) As for the two delays, the first one is just a recommended delay between servo movements. For the second delay, I had hoped to introduce a delay between moving the camera and taking a shot. What I didn't bank on was the servo's introducing noise in the picaxe circuitry, so camera movement & delay was unpredictable in testing. The only way to stabilise this was to add the camera steady delay after the picture was taken. I'll work on his & post on the picaxe forum to hopefully improve upon this. regards Waldy
pitty waldy5 years ago
Thanks Waldy I have started ordering my bits to make one of these. I will have to adapt it a bit as I am using an SLR, but I know I can make it work.
jj375 years ago
I always wanted on of these and by the way nice pics. 4.5 stars and a big THANKS