It takes about 15 minutes to take a set of 100 to 125 shots for a panorama with my device–when it works. Lately, it hasn’t been. This is my second working panorama robot, but it has some kinks. First, I enlarged the tilt gear (14 teeth) so that I could more easily attach the servo hub. However, that meant the servo would turn less, requireing more torque, and at a low angle the servo would stutter, causing blurry photos when I was shooting indoors. So I changed it to 12 teeth (which was 4 more than my original) and that seems a good compromise. I also added a counter-weight for the camera.
I took a test panorma near the Dartmouth Green, but the tilt wheel came lose from the hub; I had only taped it on. Back to the garage where I wired it on. Then I had attached the tilt wheel backwards and when it went into its tilt motion, on the next panorama effort, a tooth broke off the tilt gear. Okay, I felt like crying.
With the gear fixed my next panorama was at Peet’s in Brookline. We are visiting my daughter Emma and my sister Alice. The tilt wheel came off the bearing. Deep breaths. Back to my sister’s to glue that on.
While walking the dog (never believe your wife and children who claim they will walk dog every day on day of dog purchase) I found a nice place for a panorama, the Devotion Elementary school. Here’s the device doing that there.
I then did one in the playground. I ran into a problem with auto exposure. It exposed for the sky when shooting my head, but exposed for my body when shooting that. The stitching software then could figure out that my head was attached to my body. So this pano worked pretty well, except I’m headless. Just as well, anyone looking at my panos must be sick of my face.
I programmed the device to pan, move the camera to a low point, then take 4 to 5 images going up. That’s inefficient because it would be better to just pan the camera from whever it took its last image; that is, the captures should be taken in a serpentine fashion. But I didn’t do that and now I can’t use the “structured panorama” mode in ICE. I’m going to work on my camera movement algorithim for next time.
Also, I’ve concluded that you really need to fix your exposure. When the camera does an autoexposure the stitching software can get confused and stitch the phontos in a somewhat irregular way. I now decide the exposure on what I feel is the best subject of the panorama.
Again, you can view my latest panoramas as Max panoramas at photosynth.net