For Harvard's GVI Lab, time-lapse photography is a critical research component, and deploying cameras for such projects has been known to be inefficient and time-consuming. Creating a portable system to address those inefficiencies requires at least three new features not commonly seen in regular time-lapse setups: an anti-vibration mount for stability, remote access functionality, and power regulation from a DC power supply.
Vibrations and lateral forces - due to harsh weather and obscure deployment locations -can perturb the system creating high frequency vibrations and unwanted blurry effects on image, hence the need to control the forces. Remote access allows for user interaction over a webpage and the ability to obtain near real-time feedback. An external DC supply, such as a battery, makes the system entirely portable, not requiring an AC outlet. The resulting system design includes a weatherproof NEMA enclosure that houses the camera shock mount, hardware peripherals, and circuitry. The shock mount assembly mimics a microphone mount, laced with elastic rope in a suspension system that helps dampen vibrations. An extremely low power processor - an ARM Beagleboard xM - runs the software and 802.11n wireless adapter, acting as web server that can be accessed remotely from a graphical UI written in PHP. The graphical UI gives the user the ability to issue camera commands for remote capture and control settings including ISO, aperture, focus. The processing board would be powered by a 12V battery with an uptime of over 20 hours.