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Aerial Pano from multirotor 'drone'

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:34 am
by AZ ChopperCam
My company makes and sells multirotor copters for aerial photo purposes. Normally there is a rotator mounted to the bottom of the copter to capture aerial panos. This time we put it on top to catch the copter in the shot. An interesting result!


Re: Aerial Pano from multirotor 'drone'

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:48 pm
by 360Texas
looks like 2 batteries ... how many minutes flying time are you achieving ? Does this one have a video downlink ?

These are just buzz words I learned 5 - 6 years ago on a pano project while talking with Mark at in just north of Fort Worth in Keller, Texas.

Re: Aerial Pano from multirotor 'drone'

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:37 pm
by AZ ChopperCam
Yes, this one has two batteries although the ones we sell are typically configured with one battery. With two batteries flight time is around 16 minutes. One battery gets about 9 minutes. But, not much flight time required to shoot panos. From takeoff to shooting a pano from a couple hundred feet and landing is done in around 90 seconds.

No video downlinks are needed on panorama copters. You'll find downlinks on copters that are used to shoot video where you need to see what the camera sees to properly compose the shots. With panoramas you're capturing the entire scene so there is no need to compose. You get quite good at knowing where the copter needs to be and how high to get the panorama you want.

The copter has telemetry that interfaces with an iPad. A Google Earth map is displayed on the iPad with a little marker that represents the copter. You can drop waypoints anywhere you want, select an altitude and speed to fly while traveling to the waypoint and tap a 'go' button. The copter flies to the waypoint autonomously. Once there you flip a switch on your controller to set the rotator in motion and fire off the pano shots. Of course you can also choose to not use the ground station telemetry and fly it manually if you wish. In fact, most of the panos I do are flown manually and I use the telemetry only to see what my altitude is.

I know Mark LaBoyteaux with Hawkeye. He's a customer of ours. He used to use (and may still now) one of our panorama camera mounts that we designed for rc helicopters back in 2008.