posts tagged with the keyword ‘timelapsebot’

2011.02.23

This was 100% my wife’s idea. You see, we have two cats, and because her cat seemed to be losing weight (and because my cat eats like a pig) we were concerned that her cat was not getting any of the food we left out all day long. So when I was told to “Get your time lapse thingy!” I sprung into action and set it up to capture a day’s worth of footage of the cats eating food.

We learned that my cat certainly eats a lot (but doesn’t eat all the food) and my wife’s cat is getting a chance to eat throughout the day, so I’ll call this experiment successful.

2011.01.20

Time Lapse Bot 3

I built the original “Time Lapse Bot” in September 2009 before BarCampMilwaukee4 happened. I managed to get an old office chair that someone was throwing away and thought I could put it to good use to move around the iMac and camera rig I had attached to it. You can see the original Time Lapse Bot post for more info.

The main issue with the original Time Lapse Bot was that if you unplugged it, you had to boot it up again, set the clock, and then restart the image capture. We thought about a UPS to give it a bit of “unplugged” time, but never added one.

Next up was Time Lapse Bot 2 which used an old clamshell iBook in place of the old iMac. This made everything much lighter but because the battery couldn’t hold a charge we still suffered the inability to unplug it and move it while it was running. (We typically solved this problem with really long extension cords.)

Time Lapse Bot 3

Time Lapse Bot 3 is the next step in Time Lapse Bot technology. We’ve taken an old PowerBook G4 (donated by Matt Gauger) which has a good battery in it, and paired it with a Canon ZR800 MiniDV camera, which also has a good battery. The result is a unit that can run on battery (at least for a few hours) and starts charging the batteries as soon as you plug in the AC power cord.

The entire unit is housed in a custom case which allows for easy transport. By “custom case” we’re referring to the plywood box that I constructed and painted black. That’s what we consider the pinnacle of “custom cases” around here.

The software that runs Time Lapse Bot is EvoCam by Evological. It’s $30 and well worth it. It’s feature packed, and rock solid. If you’re putting together a Mac-based time lapse rig that uses a video camera, or a web cam, or whatever, I highly recommend it.

Here’s a few of the time lapse videos we’ve made with the help of Time Lapse Bot.

We’ve finally reached a point where we are fairly pleased with Time Lapse Bot and it’s performance, so this is obviously not the time to sit still and relax. We’re currently working on a few upgrades to Time Lapse Bot, and hope 2011 brings even more Time Lapse Bot goodness to all the folks who enjoy time lapse videos…

(Thanks for reading this. If you’re reading it on Facebook or Google Reader or somewhere else it got syndicated to, consider visiting the original post, especially if you’d like to leave a comment.)

2010.08.25

Time Lapse Bot 2

I give you… Time Lapse Bot 2!

This is an upgrade for the original Time Lapse Bot, although we lose a few things, we gain some others… specifically, better mobility and a lighter weight Time Lapse Bot.

We’ll be testing this guy out at BarCampMadison

Update: See the result: BarCampMadison: Time Lapse Video

2009.09.20

Behold… Time Lapse Bot!

Time Lapse Bot

No, this is not a wikibot… it’s the Time Lapse Bot, built out of old, recycled material, it is capable of doing time lapse captures using a sophisticated Apple iMac Computer, with an XLR8 InterView USB Video Capture Device connected to an old JVC Video Camera sitting on an old chair base which allows it to easily wheel around (within the length of the power cord.)

I actually spent $0 putting this all together, if you don’t count the fact that I paid about $499 for the video camera 10+ years ago, and $99 for the InterView back in 2005. Pretty much everything else was somehow attained for close to nothing. I could add wifi to this thing if I had a USB hub lying around, which might make it just little bit more neat-o, but hey, It’s a work in progress…

I’ve been testing it a bit this weekend, but the real test will come at BarCampMilwaukee4.

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