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Project: Self leveling 360º Camera Mount

Client: ViewLogic

 

Description

ViewLogic specialise in providing 360º digital panoramic photographs taken from a car mounted automated digital camera head. Local authorities are the main users, utilising the detailed panoramic images which are captured at 20 meter intervals along every road across an entire authorities region. Staff are then able to remotely view any area of the region in detail without having to leave their office.

Viewlogic had previously purchased an existing automated camera head. Needing to expand the operation to using many vehicles they commissioned IBEX to design the electronics and software for a new unit, improving on the existing design and allowing them the build new systems at lower cost.

Specifications

Design a new embedded electronic solution to improve upon the existing system.

Power to be provided directly from the cars 12V car battery.

Provide a USB connection to connect the system to a driver mounted laptop computer.

Design a very accurate tilt sensing module, to allow the control system to perfectly level the camera head, even on steep inclines, before capturing a new set of images. Provide 2 motor outputs to smoothly and quickly level the camera each time the vehicle stops.

Incorporate an accurate digital compass module with reporting back of the current heading via the USB connection. Combined with the laptop's GPS system this allows each stored image set to be accurately presented to the user in the real world location and orientation.

Provide accurate and smooth control of a camera rotate motor. Quickly rotate the camera to the required positions via USB commands from the laptop computer.

Provide a solenoid to remotely trigger the camera via the USB connection.

Remove the need for a bulky car mounted control unit. All of the electronics we're incorporated into the camera head with just a power and USB connection to be made to the inside of the car.

Design a custom USB communications protocol, to allow ViewLogic's software designers to control the system from their own PC software. Provide a simple PC application to allow the software designers to test the operation of the system prior to implementation and for basic manufacture and engineer diagnostics.

Provide full manufacture and test documentation. Provide subsequent low volume manufacture of systems for ViewLogic.