Instructables

Time-Lapse Pan&Tilt Robot

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Picture of Time-Lapse Pan&Tilt Robot
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Hey Everyone! I'm back with some more Lego Robotics. This Lego Mindstorms Robot can automatically pan and tilt an iPhone in very small increments to capture amazing time-lapses. I got the idea for this after seeing other time-lapse robots online, but most of them are really expensive. So instead, I decided to build my own using just parts that I already had.

For anyone who is not already familiar with time lapses, time-lapse is a photography technique in which pictures are taken at a set interval. For example, one picture could be taken every ten seconds. When these pictures are played back really quickly (usually 24-30 frames per second), it will look like an extremely sped up video. You could watch the sun move across the sky in a matter of seconds or see the clouds move. Anything that would normally happen very slowly, could be played back very quickly.

I have added a video above of some other time-lapses that I have made without using the pan/tilt robot.

 
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Step 1: What does it do?

Picture of What does it do?

This robot will very slowly pan and/or tilt the camera as it is capturing the time-lapse. Since it rotates the camera very slowly (less than a degree between photos), when the pictures are played back as a video it will have a very smooth panning movement. You can take a look at my example video to see what this looks like. This robot functions very similar to the time-lapse feature on the commercially available Galileo robot. Before starting the time-lapse, the onscreen controls allow you to set the length of the time-lapse, and how many total degrees it should rotate horizontally and vertically over the course of that time. The robot then automatically calculates the rate in which it should rotate the camera.

The first video I have attached to this step is a demonstration of how the iPhone can be locked into place. The second one shows the effect of rotation on the Time-Lapse

martin22502 months ago

that's incredibly cool, do you have some more detailed build instructions? I am thinking of using it as an automated panorama head

craftclarity2 months ago

This thing is super-cool. Saw it in the newsletter....!