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Home / News / SmartTripod robot cameraman tracks your every move

SmartTripod robot cameraman tracks your every move

Movie cameramen beware – the robots are gunning for your job, with this Microsoft competition winner leading the charge

Cameramen be warned – the SmartTripod is here, and it’s gunning for your job. The Microsoft Robotics @Home competition winner may look comical, but it could replace human cameramen on film and TV sets, effortlessly tracking the actions of whoever it’s programmed to follow.

The intelligent tripod uses a Kinect, Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4, a laptop and a few other tit bits to make a humanlike camera-robot. It tracks its subject with Kinect, and even compensates for the inevitable tilt of its tripod when it moves.

And since the subject can control SmartTripod with one hand, it’s possible to create shots even a pro would be hard pressed to spot as non-human. It makes for easy but professional looking videos, ideal for the army of uploaders putting guides on YouTube. It’s easy to see why this is the winner of the Robotics @Home contest – and who knows, Hollywood might come calling.

The inventor received a US$10,000 prize – so hopefully we’ll see a commercial version on the market soon.

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home