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Cinematography on the Fly

By MIT News

May 19, 2017

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Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in Switzerland are working to improve the performance of autonomous drones in capturing video for movies.

The team has developed a system that lets filmmakers specify a shot's framing and generate on-the-fly control signals for camera-outfitted drones that maintain that framing as subjects move.

The accuracy of the drone's environmental measurements also ensures no collisions with stationary or moving obstacles.

Former MIT researcher Javier Alonso-Mora says the system constantly calculates the velocities of all the moving objects in the drone's surroundings and projects their positions a few seconds into the future so optimal flight trajectories can be computed with time to spare.

Alonso-Mora also notes the location projections are updated about 50 times each second to manage sudden velocity shifts.

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