Feature requests: Camera trigger based on distance and Mavlink integration


Here’s a couple of items that would help with camera integration on the Reach. For the short term, could we add the ability to trigger a camera based on distance travelled as an option? The current period based trigger is ok, but being able to specify distances would be useful.

Ultimately, I’d like to be able to connect to a Solo (or any pixhawk) via Mavlink so we can capture the camera trigger command and fire off a shot (and use ground control planning software to setup the survey). This could be accomplished by either using a serial connection to the accessory bay connector on Solo or by connection to the Solo’s wifi network. Since I’m powering Reach with the accessory bay connector, that would be my preference as wifi problems wouldn’t cause an issue. Ultimately, if Reach was able to integrate USB communications with the camera, we could put the positions in the images if we’re doing RTK or write the exact time stamp in EXIF, making post-processing a little easier. Perhaps if we could integrate storage, images and logs could be copied to external storage.

Anyone have a better idea to integrate Reach with Solo for surveying? Others have used companion computers to interface, but since we’ve already got a Reach, why not use it?

(Igor Vereninov) #2

You request is noted. We will not add the distance based, or mission based trigger to Reach as it is the work of autopilot to trigger the camera. A lot of work will be required on our side to complete that, while something like a Pixhawk can already do it better. Time-based trigger is for DJI users that have no other option to do precise mapping.

USB communication is something that we are exploring.

(William Cable) #3

I would also be happy to see a distance based camera trigger. I am using a Reach M+ hooked up to a Sony A6000 to capture aerial images from a tethered balloon that is walked across the landscape. This has to be done in an area where no radio signals and no drones are allowed. Naturally, the time based trigger works but we must capture much many more images than we need to make sure we get what we need.

I had thought to create a distance based camera trigger using an Arduino and feeding it the position information from the Reach M+. This seemed quite silly though considering everything I need is in the Reach M+. It is really just a matter of calculating the distance from the last camera trigger and triggering again if this distance has been exceeded. I would be happy to help if I had access to the code :wink:

(Tatiana Andreeva) #5

Hi @wlcable,

Thanks for the request!

At the moment we don’t have plans on adding this feature as camera triggering is usually accomplished by the flight controller, not by Reach.