HD Air Studio's Posts (7)

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HD Air Studio’s 3-axis UAV gimbal for 1.3 kg payloads has been selected by Bergen Robotics for an autonomous camera system using AI for imaging powerlines. This innovative visual system uses fixed and steerable sensors combined with robotics and artificial intelligence algorithms to autonomously capture detailed images of powerline components.

With two sensors installed on the gimbal – one camera is used by the AI and the other high-resolution camera captures detailed images of specific components. This prototype of the autonomous payload system is now working, delivering sharp imagery at the speed of 10m/s.

Raising the bar in gimbal performance 

10585245869?profile=RESIZE_400xWe’re proud that Bergen Robotics has chosen to build its visual system upon the HD Air Studio gimbal. It’s our goal to create UAV gimbals which perform much more sophisticated tasks than just image stabilization. This project makes a great example of how users of our gimbals can communicate with the gimbal’s on-board computer, autopilot and perform advanced automated tasks” – Kuba Jakubczyk, CEO of HD Air Studio comments.

Autonomous payload system for infrastructure inspection

The collaboration between HD Air Studio and Bergen Robotics incorporates HD Air Studio gimbal functionality into Bergen Robotics AI-driven visual system. Our system will deliver sensor information – usually images, supplemented with high precision positional and directional metadata. It is also possible to embed any information provided to the planning software that the customer might need for the internal use, e.g., object identification” – Nils Jacob Berland from Bergen Robotics explains.

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It’s been a couple of years since Sony launched UMC-R10C to the market and also a couple of years since HD Air Studio developed its first drone gimbal for this industrial camera, but still Sony UMC-R10C integrated into a precision UAV gimbal remains popular among drone mapping and autonomous inspection providers. 

We’ve developed Sony UMC-R10C drone gimbal, as a 2-axis drone gimbal and a 3-axis drone gimbal, for KVS Technologies Team, who was looking for a ready-to-use gimbals for inspecting power grids. KVS Technologies provides power companies with a safe and efficient way to monitor the conditions of their overhead power lines. 

Not only image stabilization, but also serial communication

Sony UMC-R10C drone gimbal developed by HD Air Studio offers vast integration possibilities. Unlimited continuous rotation in the pan axis with the built-in slipring connector allows for serial communication and power supply.

Sony UMC-R10C drone gimbal, just like all HD Air Studio gimbals can be combined with powerful data processing software. Users of our gimbals communicate with the gimbals on-board computer, autopilot and perform commands defined by the gimbal operator or some automated tasks (e.g. to change settings, control gimbal, retrieve real-time data, execute various actions, etc.).

https://hdairstudio.com/custom-gimbals/

Creating a drone gimbal for all weathers

As autonomous drone inspections of various assets are frequently conducted in difficult weather conditions, KVS Technologies needed a camera stabilizer that was not only mechanically resilient but also weather-proof. For this purpose, HD Air Studio created a waterproof camera enclosure – a special sealing protecting the very camera that is integrated with the gimbal.

HD Air Studio can design weather sealing/enclosure that are seamlessly fitted to the custom gimbal. Our enclosures are compliant with even IP65 ingress protection code (protection against low pressure water jets from any direction, as well as condensation and water spray), as defined by the international protection marking EN 60529. 

 
 
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When the team of CRS Israel were asked to provide remote systems for 2021 Miss Universe, we decided to use Elit gyro stabilized head both on a remote dolly and on a 50ft technocrane. We used  Elit extensively for a last year on various projects and the head proved to be very reliable and easy to set up.

Elit has a very nice feel to it and it is a joy to use. The gyro head is very precise, it can be very fast when needed, but also very slow and fluid for those small unnoticeable frame adjustments. Zoom and focus control of broadcast lenses is very well implemented and feels very organic – comments CRS Israel.

 

The backpan compensation and stabilisation allow to confidently use the full range of the zoom on a 4.5×13 broadcast lens and provide extensive, well-composed coverage fast and easy.

On the dolly lens,  Elit dealt with vibrations very well, despite the height of 1.7 meter, the footage was really smooth.

At CRS Israel, we use many different heads and systems in our work and Elit became the favourite of our cameramen. It is reliable, fast to set up and easy to operate.

On the Ninja Warrior set, two units of Elit were used on technocranes, the show was shot at a seaport at summer with extreme heat and humidity for a period of 2 months twice a week. Not a single glitch.

You can learn more about Elit gyro stabilized head HERE or contact us at hi@hdairstudio.com

 
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At HD Air Studio, we see immense potential in designing drone gimbals housing simultaneously 2-3 sensors of various type. Advances in sensors allow us for a wider range of applications in aerial surveying, mapping, inspections, robotics. This trend, coupled with the miniaturization of sensors, opens up completely new possibilities for drone camera stabilization solutions and data collection. 

Multi-sensor gimbals can be equipped with such payloads as: thermal cameras, LiDARs, FPV cameras, lasers or radars. With each of 2 or 3 sensors responsible for collecting different type of data, our custom multi-camera gimbals offer immense data collection possibilities. 

Using a multi-sensor gimbal for off-shore search & rescue missions 

Last year, HD Air Studio designed and manufactured a custom gimbal equipped with 3 different sensors, including: Wiris Pro thermal camera, Mako G IR camera, Livox LIDAR. This custom gimbal is a part of the aerial solution designed to search and rescue a person that falls off a ship. The drone with our camera stabilizer will search for the man overboard, using thermal imaging and neural networks for detection and classification. During navigation, the gimbal is mostly pointing down, because the thermal camera needs to directed towards the water. Wiris Pro thermal camera is equipped with an LWIR microbolometric sensor with 640×512 px resolution (in the 7.5 – 13.5 μm range). Mako G IR is an infrared camera and Livox is LIDAR that can detect objects as far as 260 meters away.

Importantly, such a gimbal can be also used for other projects, where tasks such as object tracking are primary. The tracking may happen manually –via RC, or autonomously. It is easy to switch between control modes on the gimbal, so it’s convenient to change between different applications.

Learn more about this project here.

The great challange of payload weight & airtime 

Making sure that the gimbal doesn’t affect the drone airtime too much has always been our priority – one of our off-the-shelf camera gimbal stabilizers weights only 600g, while can carry 800g payloads. Achieving an optimum weight-to-carry ratio, when a gimbal is housing a couple of sensors simultaneously, is a must. The miniaturization of sensors is a great advantage these days. In all our designs we make sure that the camera stabilizer we design for you will be robust enough to carry 2 or 3 payloads, but still not too heavy to reduce the airtime. We always concentrate on producing high-quality gimbal prototypes which are equal to mass-production camera stabilizers, what requires taking an unusual approach during the production process. At HD Air Studio, we combine aluminium, still and plastic cnc machining, composites treatment and different 3D prints, including most precise techniques, like multi jet fusion.

Getting a multi-sensor gimbal ready for all weathers

As drone inspections of various assets are frequently conducted in difficult weather conditions, HD Air Studio is experienced in designing weather sealings/enclosures that are seamlessly integrated with a multi-sensor gimbal. 

Designing a custom multi-sensor gimbal for an Italian drone service provider has been one of these projects, where a special enclosure from harsh weather conditions has been essential. HD Air Studio gimbal with Canon 5dS, Lidar, FPV camera onboard is used to conduct offshore wind turbine inspections, so strong wind and rain happen a lot. We made sure that the gimbal can work in hard weather using an IP65-rated protection enclosure. 

Learn more about how HD Air Studio can help you achieve undisturbed image stabilization with unusual sensors, demanding operational parameters.

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Heavy-lift gimbal on major TV sets in Israel

CRS Israel has for years provided cranes and remote systems of various kinds to major TV & cinema sets in Israel. 2 years ago Elit stabilized heads joined CRS’s strong fleet of 24 cranes (including telescopic ones), dolly, cable and vehicle systems. This way Elit stabilized head is a part of high-profile shows supported by CRS in Israel, including the latest Miss Universe 2021.

CRS Israel’s CEO, Roy Arama, recently shared some of its impressions about using Elit stabilized head on major TV & cinema sets in Israel, including X Factor, MasterChef, Miss Universe. 

– How did it happen that you chose Elit stabilized head?

We were interested in advancing to stabilized remote heads specifically for our Techno crane department. We were introduced to the Elit stabilized head through our leading operator and technician, who came across this head after an in-depth research and testing many brands in this field. The choice was made and today I can tell you that we are very satisfied with the results.

– What do you think about Elit stabilized head after working with it for some time?

Our Operators enjoy the simplicity and accuracy of the stabilizing system. It is very easy to use and balance, almost a plug-and-play system. We have found Elit to be very stable when shooting tight and with a long lens. We have not encountered any technical issues and our operators gained much confidence during live broadcast productions such as Miss universe 2021, X factor, MasterChef and many others. 

What setups did you try with Elit so far?

We used Elit stabilized head on our Supertechno 50’, Moviebird 45′ with big camera packages, long and heavy lenses, while shooting for “Hit and Run” for Netflix and applied it on our Furio dolly system as well.

Visit our website to learn more about this solution: https://hdairstudio.com/elit-gyro-head/ 

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While using drones for all sorts of infrastructure inspections is gradually becoming a new normal, we’ve seen a growing market need for high-performance drone gimbals, which are seamlessly fitted to unusual operational parameters, non-standard set-up and niche sensors - be it a hyper-/super-spectral or industrial camera, LiDAR, laser or radar. We’ve decided to collect some hardware and software considerations, we’ve discussed with our customers in the course of drone gimbal projects. 

Do custom-built drone gimbals make a good alternative to integrated payload gimbals?

Many users looking for a drone gimbal for autonomous inspection projects are first of all faced with a choice between an integrated payload gimbal and a custom camera stabilizer. With over 12 years of experience in custom gimbal design, at HD Air Studio we believe that custom gimbal is a good alternative to integrated payload gimbals, because you can use a sensor of your own selection, and still enjoy a drone gimbal that is designed to perfectly fit all subsystems, including a drone frame, making it fast and easy to use.

 

How do you solve the challenge of cable management in your drone gimbals?

Quick set-up time and huge efficiency of a drone gimbal are a must during autonomous inspection projects. Dangling cables are the last thing you need there. Our custom-built motors with hollow shafts solve the challenge of cable management, even in case of multi-sensor gimbals. Hollow shafts allow us to neatly run all electrical wiring, which varies a lot in custom projects, as well as reduce the gimbal weight. 

 

What if I want to use two different sensors with your drone gimbal?  

Our custom gimbals are designed with an agile approach in mind. With over 12 years of the market experience, we have designed many gimbals which are ready to use in a couple of sensor’ configurations and all types of sensors are easily detachable from a drone. We also try to be adaptable to changes in the course of the project, so usually we discuss a couple of design configurations until we come up with the ultimate solution.

 

Is it possible to expand capabilities of drone gimbals?  

We know that vibration-free footage is not enough for today’s drone gimbals, especially when it comes to autonomous inspections. HD Air Studio custom gimbals offer limitless programming possibilities, because they are equipped with expandable software. Thanks to Serial API, our gimbals are compatible with third-party data processing software. This allows our Customers to seamlessly integrate with Serial API and use gimbals for various sophisticated commands, including: retrieving real-time data, object live tracking, changing settings, performing automated or pilot-managed actions and many others. Data security is a great advantage of this model - you are the sole owner of data gathered by the gimbal and its peripheral devices.

Developing high-performance gimbals providing vibration-free footage for all sorts of autonomous inspections is our thing. Electricity grids, wind turbines, building sites, oil & gas infrastructure are successfully monitored using drones with HD Air Studio custom aerial gimbals. Below have a glimpse at our recent projects: 

 

Examples of projects:

1. 

Customer: US provider of agricultural drone inspections 

Sensors: Cubert S185 FireflEYE hyperspectral camera

Project: designing and producing a gimbal for Cubert S185 FireflEYE. This sensor is quite unusual - it weights only 490g, but it’s quite large in size. Gimbals available on the market that would be able to house a sensor of such big dimensions were too heavy. HD Air Studio came up with an ultra-light gimbal, supporting the drone flight time efficiency.

 

2. 

Customer: UK provider of autonomous inspections in construction, oil & gas, infrastructure

Sensors: Canon EOS

Project: customizing solutions from HD Air Studio’s regular line of products - Sonda X8 drone frame and Infinity MR-S2 gimbal - for Canon EOS so as to make the hardware work seamlessly with the client’s peripheral devices (V-Map, Slantrange, gimbal, obstacle avoidance µPatch, uSharp and others). Our camera stabilizer and drone frame are a part of the client’s command and control solution which enables pilots to fly drones remotely from a central control room.

 

3. 

Customer: Canada-based drone service provider specializing in industrial & agricultural inspections

Sensors: SONY A6300, sensors: SlantRange main sensor, slantrange top sensor - antenna, Vmap sensor, µ-patch on the drone

Project: developing a custom aerial solution, consisting of a drone & gimbal prepared for 3 types of sensors with adjustable mounts. Thanks to its folding arms, the drone frame is very convenient to transport. This platform is designed to mount different peripheral devices.The drone had to be ready to use in a couple of configurations and all types of sensors should be easily detachable from the drone.

 

Visit our website to learn more: https://hdairstudio.com/custom-gimbals/

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Designing and producing a custom gimbal for as many as 3 different sensors installed simultaneously, including two thermal cameras and LIDAR, was a really exciting project for the HD Air Studio team recently. Our client, The Technical University of Denmark, will use the gimbal to support search and rescue teams in the maritime environment.

Technical requirements outlined by Technical University of Denmark made us take absolutely different approach to the gimbal design than ever before. When The Technical University of Denmark took the leap of faith and selected HD Air Studio as the gimbal developer, I knew that I was going to do everything to make them satisfied with the gimbal. It was a really exciting project. This custom gimbal is equipped with 3 different sensors, including: Wiris Pro thermal camera, Mako G IR camera, Livox LIDAR. To enable some of the communications to the base station, the drone is unable to change its orientation. Therefore, the gimbal must also automatically adjust itself to provide the optimal field of view, as the image coming from the thermal camera is a rectangle and not a square. This required a programmable gimbal, with fast and precise movement. – Kuba Jakubczyk, CEO at HD Air Studio explains.

HD Air Studio custom gimbal is a part of the aerial solution designed to search and rescue a person that falls off a ship. The drone starts autonomously when receiving a man overboard signal. The drone with HD Air Studio camera stabilizer will search for the man overboard, using thermal imaging and neural networks for detection and classification. During navigation, the gimbal is mostly pointing down, because the thermal camera needs to directed towards the water. The drone will also be used for other projects, where tasks such as object tracking are primary. The tracking may happen manually – via RC, or autonomously. It is easy to switch between control modes on the gimbal, so it’s convenient to change between different applications.

The Technical University of Denmark has been testing our custom gimbal for a couple of months already. We asked them what they liked most about our solution and here is what they said:

  • smooth movement, does not affect the video data
  • great sensor encasement
  • easy to work with from a hardware perspective
  • useful pass-through of cables
  • application freedom: programmable in the SimpleBGC software and via ROS
  • ease-of-use: controlled by RC, programming and setting up different profiles/scripts through code, which the gimbal can switch to by simply pressing a button
  • gimbal material: the gimbal looks very impressive, the design is very professional. The material is light and resistant. It is important for the gimbal to be light, as to not affect the flight capacity. We can confirm that the gimbal is very resistant, as it suffered no damage when the drone was involved in a small crash

I can score communication with HD Air Studio 10/10. The company is very responsive and professional. They were very understanding, they helped us make decisions for the gimbal requirements in areas that were unknown to us. We were constantly updated about the project progress. They warned us that the gimbal capabilities will be restricted by the cabling of one of our sensors and they offered to remake the cable for us. Their solution works great and we are very happy with our product. – said the Technical University of Denmark.

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