The world of technology is progressing rapidly. Video viewing is becoming an interactive experience, rather than a passive observance. Three dimensional, 360-degree videos are revolutionizing the industry. Film makers are drawing their audiences in with clean shots, bold images, and larger-than-life scenery.
This is what Condition One founder and Academy Award-nominated documentary film maker, Danfung Dennis, had in mind for Bison, a 360-degree video camera rig. He sought design insight and expertise from DT Engineering to improve the form and functionality of their existing rig.
This product needed to get into marketplace quickly, making the schedule tight and the stakes high. Because the prototypes were also the production units, there was absolutely no room for error; DT Engineering had to get it right the first time. And they did.
The analysis performed on Bison was mainly concentrated on thermals, but it was quite different than DT’s typical analysis protocol. The rig needed to withstand high-temperature environments and exposure to direct sunlight, as extreme heat will cause the cameras to overheat and go offline. Additionally, envelope requirements existed as to not obstruct the cameras’ fields of view. Due to the rigid schedule and camera spacing stipulations, the main goal was based on percentage of thermal improvement, rather than aiming for a set temperature. Working within these confines, the engineers significantly increased the thermal performance of the rig.
Thermodynamics were the most challenging aspect of designing Bison. But this challenge presented DT Engineering with opportunities for creativity and innovation. As experts in thermodynamics, the team brainstormed a variety of ideas, and eventually developed a strategy to keep the system cooler. They used the natural convection of air flowing over the cameras and designed custom heat sinks to pull the heat away from the individual cameras. A large fan was secured inside the rig to cool the power management board.
Working with the parameters of cameras’ fields of view also posed a challenge. DT Engineering was tasked with mounting the cameras to a rugged chassis, while maintaining the camera positions. Subsequently, the engineers were forced to be creative with the sheet metal design. The chassis design was smart and intricate and required a lot of time and creativity to nail down. The DT team worked closely with the sheet metal manufacturer on the specifics of the parts to ensure manufacturability.
DT Engineering did the math first, and took this challenging project from first-run prototype to production seamlessly.
To view more information about Condition One’s Bison camera rig, visit their website. http://conditionone.com