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Mani Wheel Rig

A detail of our open-hardware rig, Mani Wheel, which you can make or buy, is addressed in this article.

In the previous post we published two 360-degree videos of Japanese Cat/Rabbit Islands. These clips are made by using the following hardware and software:


Hardware

  • 6x GoPro Hero 3+ Black
  • 6x MewPro Cable
    Plug’s enclosures removed. A newly designed, dedicated PCB disk is utilized to simplify solder works.
  • 3D printed top/bottom disk lids made of ABS
    (STL/IGES files are downloadable from our GitHub repo.)
  • GoPro Dual Hero
  • 2x MewPro Genlock Dongle
  • Adafruit Bluefruit LE UART Friend – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
    Connected to the serial lines (RxD/TxD) of Dongle #0. And the whole system is controlled through BLE from the terminal application installed on iPhone or PC. (Note: In GenlockDongle source code, the serial baud rate must be modified from the default of 57600 to 9600 for Dongle #0.)

Software

  • Kolor Autopano Video Pro
    Exact sync is detected by the software automatically.
  • YouTube 360 Video Metadata Tool
    This is necessary for uploading 360-degree video to YouTube.

The hardware items are connected as in the following figure:
no-master-6-cam

In addition to the above diagram we actually used

to supply 5V power to Dual Hero and Dongles through the USB connector. However, this can be done by any USB battery pack.

The following is top view of our Mani Wheel Rig:
topview
Two Dongles (black small/large casings) and a Lipo battery can be seen. Next photo shows the inside of Dongles’ casings:
topview2inside
Opening and removing the orange top lid enables us to look inside of the hexagonal cavity consisting of six cameras. There sits a dedicated PCB disk to simplify soldering:
toplidremoved

Note: We can sell 3D printed lids (top and bottom) and dedicated PCB disks starting from 200.00USD. Please ask us for detailed pricing of the items and/or extra soldering charge if you don’t want to do it by yourself.

UPDATE 22 May 2017: We received a STL file from Julien Brault-Chénier at LEOFILMS.CA. Thank you, Julien! The file can be 3D-printed and fit to use in place of our top lid so that the Mani Wheel rig can hold one more camera for shooting the zenith. (The STL file is also downloadable from our GitHub repo.)

360° Videos at Cat and Rabbit Islands, Japan

We have uploaded two 360-degree videos shot using six GoPro Hero 3+ Blacks and MewPros.

Note 1. Please watch these clips in HD settings and use the navigation wheel at the top left corner. Currently 360-degree viewing is possible in Chrome, Edge or Firefox.
Note 2. If you are viewing them on iPhone please launch the YouTube app and flick to turn around. Current Google Cardboard app for iOS doesn’t support any 360-degree video view of YouTube yet, meantime with VR glasses as Google Cardboard please try in360Tube app.

1. Japanese Cat Island 360°

youtubeiconiOS: Open this video in YouTube app

2. Japanese Rabbit Island 360°

youtubeiconiOS: Open this video in YouTube app

These footages were taken using our original “Mani Wheel” rig:

Rig holding 6 cameras

Mani Wheel Rig holding 6 cameras

Note 3. We are now preparing for selling parts of the rig. So please wait a few days if you want to buy or make it.