Throwable Panoramic 360° Camera Ball

Jonas Pfeil , student extraordinary at the Technical University of Berlin, developed this Throwable ...

Jonas Pfeil, student extraordinary at the Technical University of Berlin, developed this Throwable Panoramic Camera Ball for a class project. The “photographer” merely turns on the camera, throws it straight up in the air and catches the ball when it comes down. The camera does the rest. Inside the ball is an accelerometer that measures the velocity of the throw. When the ball reaches its apex—that is, in that moment that the ball is motionless after going up but before falling down—all 36 fixed-focus cameras imbedded in the ball fire at once. Their images combine to capture a complete 360° panorama. Once you transfer the panoramic image to a computer you can rotate it around and zoom in on any portion.

Though the Throwable Panoramic Camera Ball is still in the development phase, it isn’t theoretical either. Pfeil has built a real working model. The physical ball was made using a 3D printer. The 2MP cameras on the ball were reclaimed from old cell phones. All the other physical parts were bought off-the-self. Pfeil wrote the software in a combination of C, C++, QT and openCV.

All that bodes well for the production version of the Throwable Panoramic Camera Ball being inexpensive. Spot Cool Stuff would like to see sensors of a little higher quality than those used in the concept model. We also think there should be consistent exposure across all the cameras. With the independent exposure control the colors vary too greatly between sections of the panorama. Check out a sample panorama image in the video, below.[Source]


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