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     PanoBot 2 : robotized panoramic head V2

     

    Panobot 2

    This page was voted

    December 1723, 2000
    on Lugnet

     

    July 2005 update:

    David Wilson sent me some photos of his version of Panobot2, modified do fit his Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20. See them here.

    September 2008 update:

    Kilgore661 created a whole range of panobots, including some tiltable versions. See his detailed (and fun reading) report here.

    The original PanoBot generated a lot of interest, especially since it won Lego contest. It had one major problem though : I built it using parts coming from many Lego sets, so it could not easily built by others. So I took up the challenge and created PanoBot 2, which can be built with and only with parts included in Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 1.5.

    The three main modifications are :

      1. The rotation sensor that determined direction of shots was replaced by a light sensor facing a black and white paper driven by the rotation motor
      2. The rotation chain drive was changed to a worm screw drive.
      3. The most difficult was to replace the turntable that supported the rotating part of the PanoBot. I finally used small wheels rolling on the rim of a big wheel. If you need to fix the PanoBot 2 on a tripod you will need to screw that big wheel on a threaded plate. Unfortunately, I was once again unable to rotate under the fisheye nodal point. It is close enough though to get good panoramas, as you can see here.

     I also made some changes to use the Coolpix 990 instead of the 950. Adaptation to the Coolpix 900 or 950 should be easy, you can see here the modifications needed to use a Coolpix 900.

    With a simple parts reordering, the Coolpix support can now accommodate :

    FC-E8 fisheye optical add-on
    (for full sphere panoramas)

    WC-E24 wide angle adapter
    (cylindrical panoramas)

     

    • PanoBot 2 in action : AVI film (300KB)



    • Download the source file. You can modify some parameters to fit your needs : NumberOfPhotos is the number of shots per turn, PhotoSavingTime controls the time needed by the camera to store an image (it should be increased a lot if you use the Hi TIF mode) and InitialWait is the time to wait before shooting the first photos. You can store different setups in the 5 programs of the RCX... I use program 1 for 10 shots panoramas using wide angle adaptor, 2 to 5 programs for fisheye panoramas using 2 to 5 images. Three images is my standard setup, I use 4 or 5 images when I need large overlap, mainly with moving people.
       
    • See step-by-step instructions
       
    • Download the LeoCAD design file.

    • See samples panoramas shot with PanoBot2
    • Photo-reportage : building a Panobot
    • What builders think of PanoBot2:

        "I finally broke down and bought a Mindstorms Kit (no prior Lego experience at all) and finished building it within 4 hours. The assembly was a breeze thanks to your great step-by-step instructions! It operated the camera like a charm!" (Gary, Texas, USA)

        Photos of Gary's PanoBot2, showing the guide he added to tidy up cables:

    • Robert Scholz has adapted PanoBot2 to the newer Coolpix 995.
      Here are the photos he sent me:  

       
    • Photo Gallery



     

LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and Technic®MINDSTORMS® EV3/NXTMINDSTORMS SensorsLEGO® technical dataLDrawMiscellaneous LEGO®VEX;LEGO® & PhotographyPanoramic PhotographyPhoto GalleryHome