This project examines using industrial robotics for media creation, specifically DSLR video camera control and recording. Both digitally programmed camera paths and handheld capture are explored, as well as a post-process technique for VFX over the environment. Rolling Robots is composed of three development phases; end of arm tool design, robotic arm path programming and data translation - calibration.
The tool is a combination of industry-standard 15mm rails, DSLR camera, and custom electronics, all mounted on a custom 12" x 6" plywood base. After a number of experiments and calibrations, we've prototyped a stepper motor driven follow-focus setup instead of utilizing readily available focus-pull mechanisms for increased control using a microcontroller. The dataset collected during the calibration phase is interpolated using regression and both in the micro-controller and robotic arm programming environment, these values are used to control focus ring rotation at any given position of the robotic arm.
Collaborators: Scott Leinweber, Atefeh Mahdavi