Engineering student created an impressive DIY cable cam with AI-powered tracking
|The Cablecam is built around a single brushless motor and Raspberry Pi 4 with an Arducam attached to a two-axis gimbal.|
Uruguayan engineering student, Maximiliano Palay, has shared a detailed breakdown showing how he built Cablecam, a DIY cable camera. While this isn’t exactly your weekend Raspberry Pi project, if you have the engineering chops (as well as time and money), it is something you can piece together yourself.
|Max created the design for the Cablecam using Autodesk Fusion 360 (via an Education License).|
The Cablecam, as Max calls it, was the first project of his to integrate all of his disciplines together: ‘software, hardware design and a couple of fabrication techniques’ and was his first attempt at creating a moving robot. Max says he made most of the Cablecam from parts he had ‘laying around,’ but unless you have access to a 3D printer and a CNC machine, and have a few pocket computers and motors sitting around, you might need to purchase a few items. Below is a list of the key components Max used to create the Cablecam:
Like other cable (or line) cameras, the Cablecam can run along a string or cable in one axis to give a dolly-style effect without the need to set up a complicated rail system. The frame of the Cablecam is constructed of CNC-milled wood pieces with 3D-printed gears custom made to maximize torque from the brushless motor. Below is a video showing the gears in action without the motor attached:
To drive the motor, Max used an electronic speed controller he had sitting around, but it was leftover from a drone project, so it didn’t offer a reverse option. To fix this, Max added a polarity switch using four relays with an Arduino so that when the polarity is switched, the Cablecam moves in the opposite direction. The batteries used to power the Cablecam were ‘harvested cells’ taken from an old laptop.
The camera onboard the Cablecam is an Arducam inside a custom 3D-printed case attached to a Tarot two-axis gimbal. Max used a wide-angle smartphone camera lens adapter from a kit in front of the Arducam to get a wide angle-of-view. The entire Cablecam is powered by a Raspberry Pi 4, which communicates wirelessly with the base unit.
The base station, which wirelessly controls the Cablecam, uses Nvidia’s Jetson Nano as the main computer and is all packaged inside a Seahorse SE120 case. In addition to the main computer and fan used to keep things cool, the case also houses a screen and potentiometer that’s used to manually control the Cablecam’s movement.
To take it a step further, Max also integrated Nvidia’s pre-trained neural networks to add an automatic mode that identifies and tracks people based on certain criteria. This takes footage sent to the base unit from the Cablecam, analyzes it, then automatically moves the Cablecam to center the subject in the frame, as seen in the below demo video (Max apologized for the poor video quality):
This isn’t your average DIY project, but it goes to show that even complex pieces of camera equipment can be made if you have the knowledge and equipment available. If you’re brave enough to attempt your own Cablecam, be sure to shoot us a message so we can feature it as well.
The full project breakdown can be found over on Hackaday, where Max shares some of the resources he used to get everything up and running. You can find more of Max’s projects on Hackaday and keep up with his engineering feats via his LinkedIn profile.
Image credits: Photos by Maximiliano Palay, shared with permission.
The Panasonic GH5M2 is a refresh, rather than complete reworking, of the company's image-stabilized, video focused GH5. We didn't find live streaming as reliable as we'd hoped but we appreciated the improved feature set.
Compact camera releases are few and far between these days, which is why we're excited to try out the new Ricoh GR IIIx. It's based around the same 24MP APS-C sensor as the GR III, but features a 40mm equivalent F2.8 lens. See how the image quality looks in our sample gallery.
To celebrate 80 years of manufacturing cameras, Hasselblad has released a limited-edition kit for its 907x camera that will retail for $15,000.
In 2018, Pixii announced its first product, the Pixii camera. The 12MP digital rangefinder eschewed a rear display and card slot. Now, Pixii has a new version of its camera, featuring the same design but a different 26MP image sensor.
iPhone release season isn’t complete until iFixit gets its hands on Apple’s latest devices to tear them apart and see what’s inside.
Hasselblad has taken to social media to tease an announcement that will take place at 1pm CEST (UTC+2) on September 28, 2021.
The year 1839 began with the announcement that people could make permanent pictures. But it was the middle of that year before anyone (other than the few inventors) really could. And the drama involved meant that for quite a while after 1839, some people couldn't.
Canon was a pioneer of electronic, multi-mode cameras, and some of the design decisions that the company made way back in the 1980s persist even now, in its high-end EF and RF cameras. So join us, as we go back in time...
ACD Systems has announced ACDSee Photo Studio 2022. The digital asset management and photo editing application leverages AI to deliver new facial recognition tools, improved organization and more.
The app, which is available to download for free with an optional in-app purchase, includes more than 40 film simulation recipes you can apply to JPEGs captured with Ricoh GR, GR II, GR III and GR IIIx cameras.
Stephen Dowling, founder of Kosmo Foto, shares the details of the OM-X, a prototype camera Olympus had planned on releasing before 'technical difficulties' during production led them to releasing the OM-1.
There are conflicting reports as to whether it'll be 6GB or 4GB per minute, but whatever the case is, be prepared to have plenty of storage on hand.
The annual Siena Drone Photo Awards recently announced their winners and finalists.
Tired of multiple devices using different charging cables? So is the European Union's European Commission. Proposed legislation will require all electronic devices to use USB-C charging ports starting in 2023.
The Rokinon (Samyang in most regions) AF 35mm F1.8 FE is an impressively sharp standard prime for full-frame Sony mirrorless bodies. See how it performs in a variety of situations in our sample gallery.
Entrepreneur Chris Whalen is using his app, Historik, to bring parts of his hometown back from the distant past. Using augmented reality, Historik lets users explore 3D AR recreations of historical artifacts.
Today, at its Surface event, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Duo 2, all of which bring welcomed improvements to their respective predecessors.
Photographer Markus Hofstaetter is never one to back down from an interesting photography project. His latest work takes his wet-plate photo process and applies it to food photography.
This year's iPhone 13 lineup is all about bigger sensors and faster lenses. Apple managed to cram the 12 Pro Max camera into the 13 Mini this year, and have stepped up the game with its largest sensor ever.
While we're waiting to receive our review unit, we've rounded up a collection of video and written reviews that dive into the details of Apple's new iPhone 13 lineup.
The budget-friendly lens offers autofocus, EXIF support and a built-in USB-C port for installing future firmware updates.
Vaonis has announced another smart telescope, the Hyperia. Vaonis's latest telescope camera has a 61MP full-frame image sensor and a large 1050mm optic.
The three-minute video is an overview of the features Samsung's new HP1 mobile image sensor offers, including its various pixel-binning modes, Smart ISO and Double Super PD autofocus capabilities.
The monitor doesn't quite match the specifications of Apple's Pro Display XDR monitor, but it does include a built-in stand and retails for $1,000 less than Apple's offering.
Find out why DPReview TV's Jordan Drake is planning to buy the iPhone 13, what excites him about its new cameras, and what he thinks of Cinematic mode. He also explains why he probably won't use ProRes for video.
Capture One 22 will launch this December with new features like HDR merging and panorama stitching. If you've yet to give Capture One a go, Capture One has announced that new users can purchase Capture One 21 during a limited window and receive Capture One 22 for free in December.
Ilford aims to make film photography more approachable and fun with a trio of new products, including a Pop-Up Darkroom, Darkroom Starter Kit and 35mm Gift Calendar.