Cupix Support Center

Anyone figure out a streamlined method to perform good grid routes for photo/videogrammetry?


I'd be curious if anyone has devised a creative method of performing clean grids for photos/video capture? Doesn't really work with laser levels you would find in a hardware store(unless you have dozens of them pre-measured out). 

In residential properties I can see this not being much of an issue, but large commercial or industrial could definitely benefit from such an approach. Stick the camera on a RC car or a roomba? heh.. fun.  I'm reminded of Photogrammetry methods from the likes of DroneDeploy or Pix4D where you can make pre-programmed routes, but that's using GPS, a feature lacking in the RC/Roomba idea.

  • Hi, Greg.

    Thanks for writing in. That's a fascinating topic to talk. We thought about the method, mounting the camera on a Roomba, but haven't tested it yet. The problem is that the 3D tour wouldn't look nice because the viewpoint is too low if you attach it to the RC car or Roomba. We're also curious about any other creative method to take photos/videos more efficiently. Hope we can get some good ideas!

    Best Regards,

    Cupix Support

  • I actually looked into this today after taking about 1000+ photos with a Theta V mounted to my hard hat . You look like a nerd but its much faster than any way I found so far. The Roomba has a model called iRobot Create 2 which allows you to program the robot. I couldn't find anyone actually developing it for this purpose though. My guess is someone could mod one of these and mount a monopod to it with a 360 camera attached  The issue is that it would need to have a program that allows you to upload a floor plan so it can accurately create a path and on top of that it would need sensors to avoid objects not only for the roomba but also for the height at which the camera is. The newest version of the roomba 980 actually has a sensor that maps out the building as it explores so if i was a robot hacker I would start there and see what comes of it.

  • Hi support. I was thinking more along to the idea of what Devin was suggesting, like bolting on a monopod for the height. Yeah. I did a fair amount of internet searching with no major indicators. The object avoidance does seem to be in the high-end 980's, not the hackable Create's.  Likewise if you search for "roomba path art", you can see the non-hacked ones travel in pretty odd patterns (swirls).

    I know from personal experience with Cupix, and competing virtual tour systems(MP), it's tough to maintain clean scan point grids. Some of my scans points look like I was drinking on the job. 

    I think short of using a laser square and distance measuring, is probably the only "quick" way to be accurate. But that's going to require 2 laser squares (one on each end off-set from the other) and constantly moving them when you to get to that end. It will likely produce scanning errors too, as the laser square is constantly moving. I know with MP especially you cannot move anything without it freaking out.

    Securing the 360 camera on a drone doesn't work either. I have been in some industrial spaces that are basically giant faraday cages, with all that concrete, iron and steel. No amount of GPS/radio/wifi signal is going to work in there. And manually flying them indoors precisely is nothing short of impossible.

  • An alternative to GPS would be using bluetooth beacons for indoor positioning. My problem with drones (I am a certified drone pilot) is that they do not have the battery life or the stability require. Most 360 cameras use a rolling shutter which will blur the photos if taken from a drone due to its inability to stay still. There are 360 global shutter camera but they are more expensive.

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