New two-wheeled camera dolly is a headturner
Double Robotics has launched the latest iteration of its video-equipped robots. The firm now caters for 360-degree video, with a self-balancing 360 Camera Dolly and an accompanying Universal 360 Camera Mount.
Double Robotics was founded in 2011 and launched the first version of its telepresence robots the following year. The subsequent Double 2 was launched this January, with improved "Lateral Stability Control" shock absorption, a wider-angle lens and a higher top speed.
However, despite being perhaps the best known outfit in the telepresence field, Double was beaten to the punch where introducing 360-degree video is concerned. Not only did Motion Impossible release its Mantis dolly last month, but it did so with a four-wheeled configuration, inflated tires and interchangeable camera stabilization options. The 360 Camera Dolly does have Double's aforementioned Lateral Stability Control shock absorption built into its two-wheeled base, which allows it to tackle obstacles up to 0.5 in (12.7 mm) in height, but it won't compare when it comes to anything larger.
In fairness, of course, the two products are aimed at different uses and have very different price-points. Double's 360 Camera Dolly is designed for use primarily on flat surfaces, whereas the Mantis is more rugged and designed with use on uneven surfaces and off-road in mind. Price-wise, the full 360 Camera Dolly kit comes in at US$3,000, while the Mantis costs considerably more, with pre-sale pricing set at £12,995 ($19,005).
The 360 Camera Dolly has come out of Double's internal research and development team, Double Labs. It uses the technology behind the company's telepresence robots and is remotely controlled using either an iPhone 6 or an iPod Touch via LTE/4G, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This means that video can be captured without any crew members being in shot.
The accompanying 360 Camera Mount is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and attaches to the Double base using an 1/4"-20 bolt (that's a diameter of 0.25-in and 20 threads per inch). The mount can hold cameras weighing up to 5 lb (2.3 kg).
The 360 Camera Dolly will be available to buy from the Double Robotics website from June 15th. The Universal 360 Camera Mount will be available to buy separately at $249.
The video below provides a demonstration of the 360 Camera Dolly with the Universal 360 Camera Mount.
Source: Double Robotics