New Servos for Gigapixel photography  

Everything you need to motorize your head
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Gordon
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New Servos for Gigapixel photography

by Gordon » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:47 pm

I was wondering if anyone has an idea if these servos could be used for Gigapixel photography. I'm not sure if anyone here has seen them before, but I cant see anywhere that they have been mentioned before.

They certainly seem to be able to carry the load 3Ld to 8Lbs which is way more than my Gigapan can manage not sure about the Merlin yet. Is the servo accurate and precise enough to be used with Papywizard and how can they be configured to work together is it possible?? If it is possible, would I be able to fit them into my Gigapan increasing the load it could handle??? or indeed into a Merlin. I realise that NPP is an issue with this, but can they possibly be adapted? for our purposes? or am I talking out of my box here? I'm not really a technical kind of person although I do try ;)

http://servocity.com/html/spt400_tilt_system.html http://servocity.com/html/spt200_pan___tilt_system.html
ImageImageImage

Max. Camera Weight (6V) Weight(with servo) Maximum Tilt 6.0V Speed

HS-645MG (5:1 ratio) 5 lb. 7.84 oz. 135° 1.0 sec.


The SPT400 is the perfect camera or sensor tilt. Manufactured from extremely strong ABS plastic and 6061-T6 aluminum enables this mount to handle all types of applications. Precise feedback is provided by the military grade, stainless steel potentiometer supplied. The main shaft is 1/4” stainless steel and is supported by ABEC-5 ball bearings. The 48 pitch gears are made from durable Delrin and a full metal gear set is optional in the 5:1 ratio. The SPT400 is designed so that the power from the servo is transferred directly to the spur gear which is bolted to the attachment hub, no power is transferred through the shaft and therefore no slippage will occur. Mounting various cameras or custom attachments is simple with the 1/4” holes in the top plate. Gear ratios can be easily changed to vary the power and speed. Bolts directly onto any of our Servo Power Gearboxes (Pan). Build your own custom SPT400 by choosing the ratio you need, assembled or in kit form (full instructions included).

Digging deeper into this site I found this beast of a device http://servocity.com/html/pan___tilt_packages.html
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Last edited by Gordon on Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by fma38 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:27 am

Such servos can be controlled by many µ-controlers boards. I recently ordered this one:

http://www.arduino.cc

with this add-on shield:

http://www.ladyada.net/make/mshield

which can drive up to 2 DC motors, or 2 stepper motors, and 2 servos. I made some tests with DC and stepper motors, but not yet with servos (I need to buy them). I plan to use it to replace the Merlin/Orion electronic (more for fun than real usage)...

The SPT400 seems to be a good idea to make hi-res panos, with small cameras, and where you don't have NPP issues (no near field). They also have great products for heavier cameras:

http://servocity.com/html/pan_tilt_roll___accessories.html
http://servocity.com/html/ddt560_direct_drive_tilt.html

But there is maybe a problem with servos: stability. Their electronic always adjust the position, according to the potentiometer feedback. This can blur the images... As soon as I have time, I will make some tests.
Frédéric

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by Paul » Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:29 am

Gordon wrote:I was wondering if anyone has an idea if these servos could be used for Gigapixel photography. I'm not sure if anyone here has seen them before, but I cant see anywhere that they have been mentioned before.

Phil Warner uses the Servocity servogeardrives for his Panoduino
and the Arduino MCU

Aldo Hoeben IVPRA demonstrated his Panoduino (build by Phil Warner) on the Photokina this year

http://www.flickr.com/photos/philwarner/2479357430/
http://phil007.com/readme/?cat=8
Paul

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by Gordon » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:31 pm

fma38 wrote:http://servocity.com/html/pan_tilt_roll___accessories.html
http://servocity.com/html/ddt560_direct_drive_tilt.html

But there is maybe a problem with servos: stability. Their electronic always adjust the position, according to the potentiometer feedback. This can blur the images... As soon as I have time, I will make some tests.

The arduino appears to be gaining in popularity over the last few years, I have noticed. I'm interested in how your tests go with the servos, it looks very good it works, as you say the potentiometer maybe a drawback. Looking forward to your test results.


Thanks Paul for the links, getting even more excited with Gigapixel photography now, just cant stop grinning ;)
Last edited by Gordon on Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by fma38 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:27 pm

Paul wrote:Phil Warner uses the Servocity servogeardrives for his Panoduino
and the Arduino MCU

Aldo Hoeben IVPRA demonstrated his Panoduino (build by Phil Warner) on the Photokina this year

http://www.flickr.com/photos/philwarner/2479357430/
http://phil007.com/readme/?cat=8

Great! So, it works! I think this is really a good alternative to the Merlin/Orion... I found my X-mas present (servocity modules) ;)

Is there a place where to discuss with Phil and other Panoduino users? I think it could be nice to be able to drive its head from Papywizard...
Frédéric

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by Paul » Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:47 pm

Sorry, I don't know a forum or such a place. Just try to contact Phil Warner.

It would be great to have an abstraction layer to drive different gears, so I could drive my Arduino based robot with papywizard too.

As I prefer steppers with reduction gearbox I have just contacted a company which produces wormgeardrives with small backlash. Spurgearboxes are not so pricy but they have more backlash.
Paul

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by mediavets » Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:48 pm

These servos seem to be reasonably inexpensive and relatively lightweight - how easy might it be to put together a single-axis (rotate only) motorised head for use a pole?
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by fma38 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:55 pm

Paul wrote:Sorry, I don't know a forum or such a place. Just try to contact Phil Warner.

Ok. I'll do that.

It would be great to have an abstraction layer to drive different gears, so I could drive my Arduino based robot with papywizard too.

That's planned; this will one of the first review of Papywizard v2.

As I prefer steppers with reduction gearbox I have just contacted a company which produces wormgeardrives with small backlash. Spurgearboxes are not so pricy but they have more backlash.

Ok, let us know how it works.
Frédéric

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by fma38 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:14 pm

mediavets wrote:These servos seem to be reasonably inexpensive and relatively lightweight - how easy might it be to put together a single-axis (rotate only) motorised head for use a pole?

Driving a servo from Arduino board is really easy (as long as you don't need to make a user interface, which is harder).

Have a look at this code examples:

http://www.ladyada.net/make/mshield/use.html

Adding a few logic to start a pre-defined sequence uppon a button press (you can even have several sequences, and several buttons), a little relay for triggering the camera and that's it.
Frédéric

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by fma38 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:00 pm

There is a simple and cheap solution to build a controller for pano-head using servos:

http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/728

Using this module, you just need to plug a Bluetooth-serial converter, and it could be driven from Papywizard (as long as someone writes the low-level driver ;) ). To trigger the shutter, it exists special servos which just transform the standard command pulse into a simple contact:

http://www.endurance-rc.com/rcswitches.html

And for camera without electronic trigger, a standard servo can be used.
Frédéric

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by Paul » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:20 pm

fma38 wrote:There is a simple and cheap solution to build a controller for pano-head using servos:

http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/728

Using this module, you just need to plug a Bluetooth-serial converter, and it could be driven from Papywizard (as long as someone writes the low-level driver ;) ). To trigger the shutter, it exists special servos which just transform the standard command pulse into a simple contact. And for camera without electronic trigger, a standard servo can be used.

I suggest:

much more flexibility with Arduino + Bluetooth module like Sparkfuns bluesmirf
the Arduino has PWM pins to control the servo and enough pins to trigger a lot of other things

plus Arduino does not cost more than the Pololu driver
Paul

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by fma38 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:27 pm

Yes, I agree, and it is even possible to have some internal presets for simple usages, like a spherical pano with fisheye, wthout the need to use a controller like Papywizard. But you need to download the firmeware, and so. The Pololu-based solution is really plug'n'play. I'm thinking of a tutorial to explain how to build such panohead, based on Phil's design. The mechanical part is also very simple.
Frédéric

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by BeeZed » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:01 am

Please keep exploring the possibilities. Even someone timid like me has started reading about robotics because of the merlin/orion project. I would love a tutorial.

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by fma38 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:54 am

I finally contacted Phil (very nice guy). He told me that the accuracy of this head is about 1-2°. So, it is OK for spherical panos, but not enough accurate for gigapixels (well, it is OK up to 150mm equiv 35mm focal lens).

Servocity told me that they will sell a more accurate servo module soon...
Frédéric

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by trondk » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:08 pm

I have been looking at Phils PanoDuino at Vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/user318341
He has a wireless controller working, and it looks nice. I did some poking around and found the ServoCenter 3.1 at
http://tech.yostengineering.com/servoFolder. It comes with a cd and som code examples. It costs usd 90,- plus the servos. Anyone ever heard of this setup?

/trondk
Last edited by trondk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by fma38 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:40 pm

mark_anderson_us wrote:Somebody hinted at something new coming in early 2009 (amore adjustable head?) Can anyone elaborate on this?

I think you refer to my post, last week...

I will soon make some tests with a panoduino-like servo-based panohead, for Homer. I think this head will be very good for full-spherical panos, as servos are very fast, but not very accurate (2°). It will work like the Merlin, and the electronic will be very simple: a serial servo-controller and a bluetooth-to-serial converter. I don't know yet what will be the final price, but It should be a little bit less expensive than the Merlin, and, I hope, smaller and lighter. But it won't replace it for high-resolution panos...

Stay tuned...
Frédéric

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by bigwade » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:13 am

Oké, keep us informed (with PICTURES !)
New threat ?
1-2 degr is too much btw......:-(

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by joni » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:29 pm

Hello friends;

Are there any news about with servos+controller+papy ??

Question: Servos vs stepper motors ??

Thanks to all. Best,

Joni.

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by fma38 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:08 pm

I finally ordered the servo controller, a picoswitch (for shutter triggering) and 2 small servos, to make tests, and started to implement the plugin to control all this. I don't have much time to spend on Papywizard, these days, but I hope to be able to show you something in the next weeks. If it works as expected, we will be able to drive Phil's panoduino head.

BTW, Phil contacted me some days ago: he started to work on a new motorized panohead, using stepper motors. He has very good ideas, and if he can dor what he plans to do, it will be a great product! I don't tell more: he should post something here soon ;)
Frédéric

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by Paul » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:48 pm

Frederic,
if you have any specs about an abstraction layer I will try to adapt my Arduino-stepper-driven-robot
Paul

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by fma38 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:35 pm

You want to adapt your hardware to be able to control it from Papywizard?

In fact, the only thing you need to implement is a 'goto' function (the electronic should be able to drive the head to a specific position, making the complete closed loop regulation), a 'stop' function, a 'read' function, and a 'jog' function (start to move the head in a specific direction, for manual move).

You can implement whatever protocol you want, based on whatever transport layer you want (but serial is better).

Have a look at the Merlin plugin, and Merlin com. protocol:

http://trac.gbiloba.org/papywizard/browser/trunk/papywizard/plugins/merlinPlugins.py
http://trac.gbiloba.org/papywizard/wiki/DevelopGuide?version=86#MerlinOrionprotocole

Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you want further informations.
Frédéric


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