Camera harvests energy through its sensing elements

There is long known fact that diode can be used in reverse mode to generate small current when placed on a light. Computer scientists at Columbia University thought that this phenomenon could be used for dual purpose – harvest energy and take images. They constructed 30×40 array of diode pixels on a PCB. When this array is placed in environment with more than 300 lux brightness it is capable to collect enough energy to power microcontroller and take a picture every second. It seems pretty attractive perpetual photographing machine which would take images and power itself whenever there is a light. Collected power is stored in capacitor between image shoots. It is hard to tell what microcontroller is used here but it is definitely a low power (MSP430 could do the trick). They also calculated that 210×200 sensor grid could rise frame rate up to 30 images per second alternatively it could be equipped with low power wireless communication that could constantly send data to remote host. Continue reading

DIY digital camera controller

Modern digital cameras have lots of features that may be useful for almost everyone who’s involved in photographing. But in some hobby level they lack some features that would unlock much bigger potential in automation and triggering. This is possible with additional controller which is fairly easy to build. Whiternioise from instructables have constructed multifunction digital camera controller with remote control. This gives some great additional features to almost any digital camera including: Single shot mode, time lapse mode, sensor activated trigger and infrared remote control. Controller is driven by AVR Atmega8 microcontroller which is also interfaced with LCD display to make settings easier. Everything fits in small and convenient enclosure. Do it and make photographing more unique. Continue reading