The MODO: Motorized Camera Dolly is a modular track and dolly system which is not limited to a fixed track length like other motorized track and dolly systems on the market. It is designed to be lightweight and portable for easy traveling but also able to survive field use. The unit will be battery operated providing 8+ hours of continuous use and wirelessly controlled with a removable touchscreen interface. The program will allow for timelapse and smooth pan movements which use time, steps, distance, etc. as program variables. It is designed to transition between straight and curved track sections for whatever track shape desired, and is capable of working on a 2.5ft radius 90deg curve track section. It will have an accelerometer for track leveling and optical end sensors to automatically detect and end the program. It also has intervalometer and camera triggering circuitry built into the device. All of the electronics are completely self contained within the water resistant chassis and is USB updatable for future software versions.
Motion Picture Time-Lapse Photography
Automated Smooth Pan Cinematography
Manual Remote Controlled Panning Movements
Accurate 360deg Photography for 3D Modeling
360deg Panoramic Photography
Track and Dolly Specifications
Touch Screen Display
The dolly is programmed and controlled using the touchscreen interfaced LCD. The full color display has a resolution of 480 pixels (Horizontal) x 320 pixels (Vertical) and the backlight sleep interval can be configured in the device settings.
The hand-held controller and dolly communicate using 802.15.4 wireless transceivers. This allows for instant device responsiveness to commands allowing for manual control from a remote position. When not in use, the controller clips into the holder on the dolly to charge the battery and control the dolly through a wired connection for efficient power usage. A wireless controller also prevents the chance that the dolly is obstructed by a wire while in motion.
The dolly includes a camera output connector and camera manufacturer specific cable to trigger the camera at the appropriate time during precision movements.
Interchangable Camera Plates
Multiple camera plates will be available, each with various thread sizes and color coded. For unique applications camera plates without hardware will be available for modification to meet the users need.
The precision movements of the dolly are made by the stepper motor which is capable of up to 400 steps per rotation of the motor. This allows for many pictures across a short distance as required by extremely long panning shots.
The drivetrain is able to be raised above the toothed track section to allow for smooth manual panning of the dolly. This allows the MODO to function as a traditional track and dolly system, making it the only piece of equipment needed for smooth cinematography shots.
The dolly is capable of storing multiple user defined programs within the device memory. This allows users to save and recall settings to ensure the same results across multiple dolly movements.
The onboard USB connection port allows the dolly controller firmware to be updated by connecting it to a computer and following the installation instructions. In the future this USB connection will allow additional devices to communicate with the dolly for complex camera movements.
The main function for the accelerometer is to detect external vibrations of the dolly, record the picture number, and retake the picture at that point. This feature minimizes the possibility that the shot will be ruined or has frame skipping by taking additional pictures when necessary. It also allows the track to be leveled by using the LCD display on the dolly, track leveling is crucial to have a smooth movement without camera shifting.
Built into both pivoting axels are end sensors which use IR light and a photo detector to sense when the dolly has reached the end of the track. It also will halt the dolly in the event that there is an obstruction on the track.
The device is powered by a hi-capacity rechargeable lithium polymer battery pack which provides over 8 hours of operation. The battery is easily charged by the onboard power management circuitry by plugging the dolly in using the included power supply. Additional batteries will be available and can be interchanged for situations where extended use is required with no power available for charging.
Pivoting Axels and Wheel Assemblies
The axels pivot to allow the dolly to transition seamlessly between straight track and curved track sections. Connected to the axels are wheel assemblies which consist of 4 polyurethane wheels which can be replaced as necessary. The end stop sensors are located in the middle of these axels facing away from the dolly.
Initally straight track sections will be available for use with the MODO, with curved track sections coming soon after. These modular track sections have the same effective length so the same distance will be traveled by the dolly regardless of the track curve. The track sections will be connected together using universal magnetic fasteners for quick and easy assembly. On the underside of the track sections are multiple attachment points for tripods and other supports allowing the track to be raised for vertical movement.
Both ends of the track have end stops which connect easily to the track sections using magnetic pins. These end stops have white reflective material which ensures the best function of the end sensors.
Starter Package Components
1 - Wireless Controlled, Battery Powered, Motor Driven Dolly
1 - Touch Screen Wireless Hand-Held Controller
1 - Camera Attachment Plate
1 - Protective Case for Dolly
4 - 4ft Straight Track Lengths
6 - Track Connectors
2 - End Stops
For extreme vertical and inverted operation, optional upstop wheels will be available to secure the dolly to the underside of the track as well. This prevents the dolly from falling of the track while keeping the drivetrain engaged with the toothed rack on the track.
Track Protective Case
The most wear and tear of the Motorized Camera Dolly track will be cause during transport. To get the longest life, a protective case will be available for the track sections. It will hold 4 track lengths, all of the connectors, and the connector hardware.
TechniCapture, Inc. is currently taking pre-orders from companies and individuals interested in purchasing the MODO: Motorized Camera Dolly. Please email ordering interest and any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, thank you for your interest.
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