I have an Idea for Pano-Shooting with Arducopter

Hey Guys,

i had an Idea last night, and thought I'd see if anyone could be interested for it.
My problem is, i have no idea how to write code, so either it would have to be pushed back until someone from the Arducopter Team has time or someone else would be willing to write it, unfortunately i can only help with the idea and later with the testing.

So, what do i want:
Eventually i want to shoot panoramas with the Arducopter.
Usually you add a DSLR and Fisheye lens, slightly tilted down, get shots from 360° round and then stich them via a pc program such a PTGUi or Photoshop + add in a sky photo to get a full 360° view.


Now the people using helicopters tend to use mounts that have a contious servo on pan and then just hit a switch and the mount turns 360° whilst shooting the photos with the camera.


Now Multicopters are much easier to turn using YAW, and i guess it would be a nice weightsaving just adding a camera bracket to the copter rather then a whole Pan-Setup.


So here comes my Idea:
-Camera just mounted on to a bracket hanging beneth the Arducopter

-Arducopter in any flightmode, preferably for the first tests in simple mode, because it makes the stearing easier and later in full gps alt+pos hold to get no stiching errors from movement

-If i rememeber right, the APM has a built in switch, that could be connected to the camera to take photos.

-And now comes the clue: You start Yawing the copter, and a piece in the code looks at the Magnetometer-Readings and tells the switch (connected to the camera) to activate every xx°.


This could be made user definable, with a fisheye you would need about 4-6 photos, with a wideangle you would probably need at least 10.

So with my fisheye i could enter "activate every 60°" to have 6 Photos later from the way round.

It could even be used to make normal wide-panoramas by saying "activate every 30°, but all in all just turn 120°" so you would recieve 4 Photos covering a rather large field of view.

Now, first of all, does anyone understad what i am even suggesting, or was it just a dumb idea thought about last night after a beer or two?
Is this somehow do-able? (e.g is it possible to gather the Magneto-readings and couple them up with the switch?

And last but not least: Does anyone think he/she would be able to implement something like this (perhaps not now, but sometime when code has become more stable, perhaps when it is out of beta-stadium)


Love to hear your thoughts about it

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  • There are cameras around with panorama functions. I just pull the trigger and yaw the quad around slowly, the camera takes 10-20 pictures automatically and stitches them together.
  • Ok ritchie, now i got you!
    I think we are envisioning the sort of same thing.
    Do you think the "look at the magneto how many degrees you have moved" will work? Because if you just use full yaw and have the code snap a photo every few cycles you run the danger of having more photos at the beginning (when yaw is slower)

    Is anyone able to code something in this direction (when ACM 2 has calmed down a bit)??

    Still don't agree on your con-fisheye view, as i know most aerial panos are done with fisheyes and programms like ptgui have no problem what so ever handling fishy images ;-)
    But that shouldn't be worried about, that is down to personal preference, i just think the code could be a great help improving easy-to-make-panos.

  • Well, Fisheye or not may be down to preference, i will be going with a samyang lens, but most people do it with a 8mm Sigma.

    Don't quite understand what you mean with not restrict the activate to a set angle? If you meant, the angle would change with the used Lens, that's why i wanted that everyone can define the angle on their own. So with a fisheye you'd take 60°, with a 18-15mm you could take 30°.

    With steady motion, do you mean it should stop shortly at the given degree? That would have been a thought i had, if we could incorporate it as a fully single mode like you wrote. Hit a switch the copter starts yawing on it's own, activates the shutter every XX° and perhaps even stops for a short time at the given degree (although this may not be needed if shooting with 1/1000th)




  • Fish eye lens are not for panoramas. Almost all software including the expensive stuff says stay away from them for creating panoramas. I also would not restrict the "activate" to a set angle as viewing angle from camera can differ widely so a steady motion is more appropriate than precision angles (good thing too given drift too).

    Ideally you want to create a new mode. Basically you would copy the position hold stuff then add the yaw turn after your activation. A single activation to do all photos would be preferable but may be impossible for some so I would try to setup a trigger so those with less specced cameras can use it.

    Plenty of pins free on IMU board broken out for this all be it not in a lovely slide attached pin :) Cameras that can have a remote would be preferable.

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