The function analysis is an abstract way of analyzing and developing functions of a product. The method is a way of helping the development of a product without thinking of shapes, dimensions and materials. The function analysis is supposed to describe the product´s functions and parts, and forces the user to think in an abstract way, preventing the user from jumping to solutions immediately. Function analysis helps to find different kinds of solutions to the same problem.4
“A designer´s drawing has three main functions:
It is a mean of externalizing and analysing thoughts and simplifying multi-facet problems to make them more understandable.”
It is also a medium of persuasion that sells ideas to clients, and reassures them that their design brief is being satisfied.
It is a method of communicating complete and unambiguous information to those responsible for the products manufacture, assembly and marketing.”
According to Piper” pipes a designer need to be a paragon, proficient in a whole range of apparently disparate drawing skills. At the concept stage as well as being able to clarify on paper his or her own thoughts, it is crucial to be able explain in a few economically placed lines, perhaps at a briefing meeting with a client, exactly how the as yet on –existent product will look, feel and fit together, demonstrating that all the various specification imposed in the design by the client´s brief will be resolved within budget”5
Brainstorming was invented by a man named Osborn as early as the 1930s. Apart from producing large numbers of ideas, brainstorming is based on another very important principle, the avoidance of premature criticism. Of course ideas must be assessed critically, but an all too critical attitude often holds back the process of generating ideas.
After the sketching phase when the concept is ready and thought through the next step is to give the concept some fixed boundaries. Today CAD software is used to do that, in a CAD software you can build shapes with fixed dimensions that is easy to take in production. Another advantage the CAD software gives you is the possibility to render the CAD model with material and colours. This makes it easy to visualise what the finished product is going to look like.7
Trial and error
The purpose of the trial and error method is not to find a way problems is solved. The trial and error method is good for problems where there are multiple chances of a correct solution, and it is not such a good method for problems that doesn’t have multiplied solutions.8
Quick and dirty prototyping
Using Plasticine clay and modeling foam, quick form and size models, was created for evaluation. It leads to a discussion about sizes and shapes that resulted in decisions.9
Image board and mood board
Image boards and mood boards originates from marketing and consumer research. Image and mood boards is a collage that shows the intended user and his/her lifestyle.10
Approach and Implementation
The process of developing a new design of Intuitive Aerial AB airborne camera rig system, has not been a linear process or method. Because of the tight timeframe a few of the steps in the design process and methods have been dropped and/ or hastened. Other parts has been made simultaneously with each other to save time.
« If you can’t convince them, confuse them. » (Harry S. Truman)
Reflecting over the process and methods now, I can see that some parts of the UK´s double Diamond Design Process model has been used. The main method that has been driving this project forward has been reverse engineering.
Reverse engineering is the process of extracting the knowledge or design blue-prints from anything man-made. It means that it has not been any guarantees that the parts and design would work until it has been produced and tested. Trial and error has been used. Without time for errors. The reverse engineering has been implemented in the Double Diamond Design process model.11
The structure of the Double Diamond Design process has been used to organise this report of my design process.
Gathering information and obtaining knowledge from a variety of sources, that can be of value to the project was made in the discovery phase. However, it has been an ongoing process through the whole project. The discovery phase did not occur in a disciplined order. It has provoked ideas and questions. The discovery phase has given me a deeper meaning and understanding in the field of UAV camera rig systems.
The discovery phase was a necessary step to get in to the world of UAV and RC flight. It gave me an understanding and an insight in people how builds and uses UAV camera rigs systems. The discovery phase did also reveal a deeper understanding of what the people that has insight in this market values and thinks is important.
The starting point of the project was to examine the market of the airborne camera rig systems. Who are the competitors and what other solutions are there on the market? To my help I had material that John Lindén had collected during a customer survey that was made for the Intuitive Aerial AB see attachment 2.
Showing in figure 5 the camera is mounted on a beam that is mounted onto rails, to give the beam movement back and forward. Otherwise the beam just gets the moves up and down. The problem with this solution is that it gives a static movement and is restricted.
In figure 6 there is a solution where they have mounted the camera rig on to the camera man. It gives a lot of movements and freedom, the setback is that it requires a skilled operator to get good footage. And the angle of footage are restricted to the camera man.
Figure 7 is a footage of a helicopter with a gimbal camera rig system mounted in the front. This gives a lot of freedom and the ability to get good footages from high angles and altitudes. This is the best solution to getting the best images from the air. The setbacks with using helicopters is that it is expensive and due to regulations they can’t fly in the cities.
Showing in figure 8 is a RC helicopter that has been modified with a gimbal construction. This is a good solution to get footages from high angles to a low cost/good price. The biggest concern of this solution is that it requires a skilled operator and the process of learning to fly is hard and long.
Figure 5, 6, 7 and 8 are showing solutions for the high end industries that are used today. Figures 9 and 10 are showing two multirotor camera rig systems that claims to be for the professional market.
Quadrocopter Cinestar8 showing in figure 9 is a Multi-Rotor system for the professional film and photo market. The CineStar 8 has 8 arms and the dimension of 1000x900x350mm and has the gross vehicle mass of 6200g. The Cinestar8 is available as a ready to fly system or you can buy it in parts for assembly. Cinestar8 is made mainly from carbon fibre. And/it costs around 8 000 dollars for the ready to fly version.
showed in the figure 10 is Microcopters airborne camera rig system MK AEF okto XL. It targets the professional market. The system has 8 arms and 8 engines as the Cinestar8 has, and can be purchase as a ready to fly or “build it yourself kit”. The ready to fly kit cost around 7.300 dollars.
In the customer survey which Johan Lindén made for Intuitive Arial AB in 2011 see the attachment 3 Johan Lindén has interviewed producers, sound technicians, photographers and moviemakers. This has been helpful to understand how the product can be used by the different groups, and their different needs.
Analysis of today’s flying camera rig systems
In the high end photo and movie industries the most common solution to get the footage that is acquired from the air, the helicopter is the best solution for capturing the footage. Figure 11 is showing a typical solution on how a camera rig system looks and is mounted on a helicopter. The camera is mounted on a gimbal that is welded to beams that is attached on the helicopter. The system works by a pilot controlling the helicopter, a camera man controlling the camera, and a director controlling them.
The gimbal construction for the helicopter is not something that is mass-produced. It is designed and modified to fit the needs of the user. Therefore, they vary a lot in shapes and size.
The unmanned camera rig systems, UAV´s or drones as they also are called, are modified radio control helicopters, or RC helicopters that have been modified with a gimbal solution. There is one pilot that operates the helicopter from the ground and one camera man that operates the gimbal with the camera also from the ground. Figure 12 is showing a typical RC helicopter. The typical RC helicopter is built for performance and fun and looks engineered. It has a lot of showing parts and a lot of moving parts. In figure 13 there is a RC helicopter that has been modified with a gimbal system to take pictures as flies. As showed in figure 13 it looks very engineered and self-built. A lot of showing cables and moving parts, and it makes it look very complex and fragile. Little attempts have been made to give the RC camera rig a finished look. This is what RC camera rig system generally looks like.
A Multi-Rotor system is a system with more than two rotors. The control of a Multi-Rotor system is achieved by varying the speed of each rotor to change the trust and torque, making the system move. The construction and control is simple in a RC Multi-Rotor aircraft, and due to its comprehensible design it is easy to alter and modify the system with a gimbal function. Many of the RC rotor system are built for fun and are constructed of random bits and pieces. The main goal is to construct it as light as possible. And the aesthetic of a RC Multi-Rotor system isn’t important at all, it is the functionality that is priority.
The mechanics in a Multi-Rotor system is much less complex than in a RC helicopter system. This means that the design isn’t controlled by the mechanics of the system and are much free. This is showed in the design of the system that can be found on the market today. When it comes to the UAV camera rig systems, functionality are often the main goal. And it shows in the design of the systems. Less moving parts means less maintenance and lower costs. The reason why the Multi- Rotor system suits movie and photo making so good, is because, they can be built cheap and they are low in maintenance. Parts can quickly be switched out and they are not that complex, has great stability and control in the air.
If you compare the RC helicopters to the Multi-Rotor in general the RC helicopters are a lot more defined than the Multi-Rotors. The Multi-Rotors are often just motors and circuit boards mounted on a frame. The frame can be made from aluminium, plastic, carbon fiber or wood. The RC helicopters are much more advanced due to the moving mechanics in it and therefore they are more expensive.
Conclusions of today’s airborne camera rig systems
The multi rotor systems were born from the RC helicopter system. It is a development that has occurred to make the RC helicopter flying easier and cheaper. With less moving parts and a simple construction, Multi- Rotor system has made it cheaper and easier to fly RC/drone crafts. The Multi-Rotor system is made for fun flying. The electronics and not the aesthetic has had the development priorities during the years. The Multi-Rotors system is a relative new way of flying. And the focus has been on developing the system to fly as good as possible and how it looks doing it.
The electronics of the Multi-Rotor system are now very good and advanced so development of the aesthetic and other functions can begin to be considered. This is what is happening in the market at this point. Performance and stability has been the focus point so far and that is up to the electronics. When development has come so far so it meets industry demands, development of the rest of the systems can begin. This is where the Multi-Rotor industry is today.
The companies that are beginning to implement design properties and thinking of development of the rest in the Multi-Rotor systems are those who can get a big advantage in the market.
It is an opportunity to create the market standard of what the Multi-Rotor camera rig system is supposed to look like and how it is supposed to work. What it essential is that the company’s has the opportunity to make their design the starting point of the whole flying camera rig system´s future industry.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
2 Theoretical Background
2.1 WHAT IS A UAV CAMERA RIG
2.2 THE “DOUBLE DIAMOND” DESIGN PROCESS
2.3 BACKWARD/REVERSE ENGINEERING
3.1 FUNCTION ANALYSIS
3.2 DESIGNER´S DRAWING
3.4 CAD MODELING
3.5 TRIAL AND ERROR
3.6 QUICK AND DIRTY PROTOTYPING
3.7 IMAGE BOARD AND MOOD BOARD
4 Approach and Implementation
4.2 MARKET RESEARCH
4.3 USER RESEARCH
4.4 ANALYSIS OF TODAY’S FLYING CAMERA RIG SYSTEMS
4.5 CONCLUSIONS OF TODAY’S AIRBORNE CAMERA RIG SYSTEMS
6.1 OVERVIEW OF THE FINAL PROTOTYPE
6.2 FEATURES AND PARTS
6.4 PRODUCTION METHOD
7 Conclusion and discussion
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