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1ms Auto Pan-Tilt


Broadcasting contents of sport games (e.g. the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic games etc.) have been quite popular. Hence, high-quality and powerful videos are highly demanded. However, it is often hard for camera operators to keep tracking their camera's direction on a dynamic object such as a particular player, a ball, and so on. In such cases, shootable method has been limited to either moving the camera's gaze slowly with wide angle of view, or controlling the gaze not accuratly but based on a prediction and adopting some parts which are shot well by chance. Super slow and close-up videos of the remarkable player or the ball are thought to be especially quite valuable. However, camera operators have not been able to do that.

To solve this issue, we developped "1ms Auto Pan-Tilt" technology. This technology can automatically control the camera's Pan-Tilt angles to keep an object always at the center of field, just like "autofocus" keeps an object in focus. Even a high-speed object like a bouncing pingpong ball in play can be tracked at the center due to a high-speed optical gaze controller Saccade Mirror and a 1000-fps high-speed vision. The Saccade Mirror controls a camera's gazing direction not by moving the camera itself but by rotating two-axis small galvanometer mirrors. It controls the gaze by 60 deg, the widest angle, for both pan and tilt. And steering the gaze by 40 deg takes only 3.5 ms. The newest prototype system accesses a Full HD image quality for an actual broadcasting service.

A photograph of the Saccade Mirror is shown in Fig.1. An image sequence of 1ms Auto Pan-Tilt movie of a pingpong game is shown in Fig.2. The movie was captured by Full-HD high-speed camera with 500fps. From the figure, the ball in the game always can been seen at the center of the each image. A 1ms Auto Pan-Tilt movie is also shown as a video in the bottom of this page. Here, we envision the system for a broadcasting service of a sport game, but also expect recording detail dynamics of a flying bird, an insect, a car, an aircraft, and so on.

Fig.1 Photograph of the Saccade Mirror.

Fig.2 Auto Pan-Tilt image sequence of a pingpong game. (500fps, Full-HD)


1ms Auto Pan-Tilt Movie of a pingpong game

Movie file : Medium Quality [WMV, 7.3MB], High Quality (Full-HD) [WMV, 45.1MB]


  1. Kohei Okumura, Hiromasa Oku and Masatoshi Ishikawa: High-Speed Gaze Controller for Millisecond-order Pan/tilt Camera, 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011) (Shanghai, 2011.5.12) / Conference Proceedings, pp.6186-6191 [PDF (1.3MB)]*IEEE
Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory, Department of Information Physics and Computing, Department of Creative Informatics,
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, University of Tokyo
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