|It suddenly happened to me that I could conciliate two of my hobbies, Legos and panoramic photography. The result is PanoBot, a
programmable, automatic panoramic head for my Coolpix with fisheye... Controlled by the Lego MindStorms RCX, it shoots a photo
(pressing Coolpix shutter with a cam actionned by a motor), then rotates 1/2 or 1/3 turn and repeat the process until the full panorama is
The RCX and the motors are placed in front to equilibrate the weight of the Nikon Coolpix. I was not able to make it turn around the
nodal point though : PanoBot would fall back. It is close enough to enable indoor panorama shooting with acceptable quality (
examples: here. ) It is stable enough on it's base to be able to shoot a panorama simply lying on a table. This can lead to original
photographs during family gatherings... Alternatively, the base contains a tripod mount screw.
The Coolpix simply lays between two poles and is maintained by the fisheye adaptor. Despite it's toy heritage, this panoramic head is
quite sturdy and I entrust it with my camera without a pinch in the heart.
The rotation angle is monitored by a MindStorms rotation sensor, the gear ratio yields 56 steps/turn. A touch sensor pressed by a
second cam informs the RCX that the shutter has been pressed.