The software that comes with the 360heros camera mount is a software called 360CamMan v.2 that is a stitching application that allows the user to format all 6 SD cards before using them in the go pros. This allows the GoPros to have a unique camera number up to 6, that then corresponds with a position on the mount, me trying to work this out is shown in the video below.
The idea is to rename the SD cards, clear them of content, then using another software (Vahana VR or equivalent) then input each recording together to create the immersive 360-degree camera. This, upon research and trial testing, is very advanced programming and is used for 4K resolution footage. For the projects I’m undertaking, this has proved to be more advanced than its worth. For the drone 360 recording of an inside of a culvert, the results need to be instant. The 360 video doesn’t need to be published, rather it needs to be played-back at an almost instant timeframe for the convenience of the workers. The stitching, the formatting and then finally the importing of the footage and rendering together is at least an hour long job that has proved to be highly inconvenient for RMS commercial use.
Though this could be achieved with more time and understanding of the problem, I’ve further researched into readily available cameras that have the mounting capacity of a GoPro 360Heros mount, as well as convenient self-stitching programming and I found a device called the 360fly. Added bonus of this device, is that it’s water resistant, shock absorbent and ultra-lightweight. The 6 GoPros and 360heros camera mount added around 1.2kg to the drone which then had to be taken into consideration when choosing a battery, which had to be powerful, which then added more weight. A loop that I think can be overcome with this new lightweight device in the 360fly. The water resistant and shock absorbent features have their advantages within a culvert that’s usually full of water and has the potential to crash in early flights, something the GoPro’s were exposed with the original mount.
This footage showcases firstly the device and its features, and secondly the test flight of the 360fly on a DJI phantom. The way I’d incorporate this onto my drone that I’ve got, would be to use the mount it has from the 360heros mount, that the 360fly replicates in terms of its screw on system, and mount it on the top. The 360 fly doesn’t have completely 180 degree view up and down, however the bottom roughly 60-degree radius of the culvert doesn’t need to be in shot, which is why mounting it on the top will suffice. The 360fly also comes packed with an included VR headset specific to the product. This for me was an interesting exploration in observing the footage acquired by the drone. Basically the workers could wear the goggles and look to any part of the culvert, (Instead of click and drag on a computer screen) even though this option would be still available to them.
This is the progress with purchasing the 360fly with the RMS;