Visual Tracking Gimbal Control

Hey peeps,

So I've been playing around with drone videography lately, find it really hard to film stuff while controlling the camera gimbal to keep things i'm interested in frame.

Being a roboticist, I hacked together a working prototype that uses the video stream to track anything I want, using computer vision algorithms:

Currently, I have a video tracking software running on PC and control a gimbal to keep the region of interest I select in frame. I'm also planning  to dev. an android/ipad app so that you can just multi-touch define a subject with 2 fingers.

Is anyone out there also be into something like this? Would love to hear your feedback!

Thanks in advanced

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  • Guys I totally forgot to follow up the thread, a year and half later, this is what we came up with!

    Thanks guys for your support. Without your initial feedback we wouldn't have gone through with it!


    • Hi Yan,

      I've been beta testing your vertical application.  On your forum I have suggested that you integrate your technology with Ardupilot, especially given that DJI is offering their own similar technology in the Phantom 4.  Those suggestions where pretty much ignored.

      So I'm a little surprised to find this thread and to learn that this is where you started.  Why the reluctance to use this with the Pixhawk class flight controllers?

      Have you implemented it somewhere and I just missed it?  I think the commercial market will eventually be significantly larger than the consumer market which will provide much more opportunity for third party developers.  Not sure why you want to hitch your wagon solely to DJI? 


  • Dear Yan,

    interesting experiment and seems to work. your approach is interesting too. Can we have a conversation soon. Consider this also useful for our project. Also based on reversed use systems. Best 

  • Yan,

    The gimbal controller that seems to be getting the most traction these days is the Storm32 done by a guy call Olli who seems to be surpassing AlexMoss 32 Bit for about the cost of $25 for a 3 Axis open source board. You can check out a huge thread on RC Groups devoted to it. You probably know about it. I believe this kind of gimbal control is one of Olli's stated aims. There might be no synergy at all, and he seems to have no interest in making $$ whatsoever -- so that may be a non-starter.


  • Is there a target date for release? And........any idea of the cost? 

    Also, How is this system integrated with the gimbal? I assume it mimics the 1520 microsecond (1.52ms) center position of a standard transmitter and receiver to control yaw and pitch? If so, that would mean it simply replaces or maybe parallels the signal input from the receiver to yaw and pitch? I also assume that a switch would have to be engaged or disengaged to switch between auto operation and manual operation to remove any conflicts or cross signals between your system and the receiver output?

    I'm really interested in this setup as I do  lot of filming of moving subjects. 

    I like to have complete control over where my drone flies. I don't want it to autonomously follow the subject as some other systems already do.

    Thank you for your time!! 


  • Hey Yan, your project is really good, congrats!
    I work with search and rescue with airplanes that was crashed, and this one will be a good ideia to my project with my drone!

  • Hey Guys, we just got covered by TechCrunch! Wouldn't have been possible without the amazing feedback we got from you all.

    Please feel free to reach out to us and we'll love to hear what you think of the SHIFT and how we can improve!

    Perceptiv’s SHIFT Turns Drones Into Smart Dollies For Filmmakers
    Drone tech is exciting and full of potential, but few companies are focusing on tech that provides benefits drone users can enjoy now, without spendi…
    • One year already... Please please please do it for planes also ... And let me be your beta user ! :-)

  • Moderator

    Brilliant! There are so many professional and amateur uses for this it's hard to believe it hasn't been done in this way before. We could have used it to great benefit for the last 18 months!

    • Thanks Graham for the love! Hearing that this product solves your problem warms my heart :)

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