discussion / Camera Traps  / 8 October 2019

Panatraps: 360 camera traps

Hi! I've been working in the background on a project to try to push the world of wildlife camera trapping into new formats by looking for ways to hack 360 cameras. I want scientists and conservationists to have a tool that frees them a bit from the "placement bias" of standard camera traps, and lets them capture fully panoramic photospheres of animals moving about in their natural environments.

Here's a link to the whole project: http://www.dinalab.net/2019/09/27/panatrap/

We have a breakdown of the problem, testing of an assortment of 360 cameras ranging from $50 - $400, and individual How-to articles for each camera version.

I did this a while back by destroying a Theta S, and just hardcore soldering wires to its buttons and hooking those up to an arduino, but my lab in Panama (dinalab.net) just recently got a grant from Conservation X labs to try to develop these a bit further. So now we have two documented hacks for popular cameras, the Xiaomi MADV (MiJia) and the Ricoh Theta V (which turned out annoyingly locked up for hacking), and hope to add more to the "Panatrap" project in the future! All our designs as always are open and free for hacking (and open for improvements!).

Also if anyone knows a good way to physically trigger a Samsung Gear 360, let me know!