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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 :
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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