the ‘throwable panoramic ball camera’

created by jonas pfeil for his graduate thesis at TU berlin, the descriptively named ‘throwable panoramic ball camera‘ prototype takes a single wide angle aerial panorama image when launched into the air.

armed with 36 2-megapixel mobile phone camera modules, the camera contains an accelerometer that lets the exposure be trigged at the calculated climax of flight, when it is hardly moving. the taking of a single photograph at the same moment by multiple cameras prevents the ghosting effects that occur when creating a panorama by taking and stitching sequential images, as well as the difficulties of recording a complete 360-degree view when using a tripod mount.

the sphere of the camera itself is printed on a 3D printer. its functionining is controlled via ATtiny and AVR microcontrollers, with the governing program written in C, C++, QT, and openCV. images are downloadable from the device via USB.

pfeil and his team (kristian hildebrand, carsten gremzow, bernd bickel, and marc alexa) are currently seeking partners to produce the camera.

throwable panoramic ball camera test photograph taken with the device

overview and demo images of the ‘ball camera’

via slashgear