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Robotic device promises to simplify panorama photography  
Monday, February 5, 2007 | by Rob Galbraith
The Gigapan robotic platform, a device developed by Carnegie Mellon University and the NASA Ames Intelligent Robot Group to automate the shooting of multi-image panoramas with a digital camera, is slated for release in March 2007 for under US$200 along with stitching software, says a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
 
Details about purchasing the unit, as well as instructions for do-it-yourselfers to build their own, are expected to be published on the Gigapan website early next month. From looking at photos of a prototype as well as a computer-generated mockup of the finished product, it's not clear whether the Gigapan will be able to physically accommodate a digital SLR-size camera.
 
Example Gigapan panoramas are here; an audio clip from BBC's The World contains more information on how the device works.
 
The PanoMachine alternative
 
A similar device (though with more features) for use with digital SLR cameras is the PanoMachine. The product's inventor, Gildas Le Lostec, notes that a new version of the Panomachine that speeds the shooting of 360 photos is available now starting at 692:
 

Price of a PanoMachine V2.2 is 896 euros with spherical bracket.
Price of a PanoMachine V2.2 is 692 euros without spherical bracket.
(VAT not included).

With the new V2.2 version, it is now possible to take a 360 panorama in 4 secondes with a Canon EOS 350D !
 
You can download the English userbook of this new version here :
http://perso.orange.fr/panorama/PanoMachinev2-2a.pdf
This new version will be described on my site in the next weeks. Orders can be put from now.

Revision History
 Added more detail about the PanoMachine (February 6, 2007)

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