Double Robotics wants its robots to move beyond telepresence into helping filmmakers get that difficult shot. The company has introduced a camera mount that can be affixed to its Double 1 or Double 2 robots and supports a 360 camera weighing up to five pounds. In effect, the telepresence robot is transformed into a remote-controlled camera dolly.
Aimed at independent filmmakers and videographers, this universal 360 camera mount capitalizes on an industry trend around producing more 360-degree videos. The problem, as Double Robotics CEO David Cann explained, is “what you do with the [film] crew and how do you get the moving shot?”
It turned out that filmmakers had already been hacking the robots to meet this need, so it made sense for Double Robotics to move now. You won’t need to buy a new robot to record 360 video — you can use the mount on an existing telepresence robot. In place of an iPad, you’ll be able to mount your camera. Underneath the mount is a place to secure an iPhone (anything larger will impede the shot) that you’ll use to control the robot’s path remotely, using 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.
The camera mount is being released after the launch of the Double 2, which will be able to stabilize itself to handle the weight of the camera thanks to the inclusion of lateral stability control.
You can purchase the camera mount separately for $249 and install it on your existing robot, or you can pay $3,000 for the full package, which includes a travel case and the Double Robotics base. It’s available for purchase, but not for rent. The mount is made of aluminum and attaches to the base using a 1/4”-20 bolt.
This is the company’s first venture outside of telepresence communications. In the future, Cann said that he might want to explore telemedicine in more depth. Currently, his company has seen some adoption of its robots and iPads in hospitals, but it’s not quite taken off. “We think there’s an opportunity to move into that market,” Cann remarked.
The 360 camera mount goes on sale starting June 15 and will be available on the Double Robotics website worldwide.