Importance for camera operators
A stabilized platform for a video camera is required if the camera is installed on an unstable base. A short list of possible uses: filming by an operator while walking or running, installation on drones, cars, motor and sail boats, airships, helicopters, poles and cranes. The most popular type of job for a video operator is filming weddings. If you need the camera to move smoothly while in motion, you need a mechanical stabilizer. Such stabilizers are usually called “steadicams”. Force Servo is a scalable solution that can be used both in inexpensive stabilizers for light cameras, and for heavier equipment. Below is a basic analysis of the market potential for economically developed and developing countries. Approximately one person in a thousand specifies “video operator” or “photo operator” as their occupation. Over a million people make their living by providing video filming services. Many use equipment that costs hundreds to thousands of dollars. There is at least one operator per 10,000 people who uses equipment worth thousands to dozens of thousands of dollars. Film studios have over 100,000 dollars’ worth of video equipment. The cost of stabilizers lies in the range of 200 dollars 300,000 dollars (from passive mechanical stabilizers to stationary video recording systems installed on patrol helicopters). This list also includes countless amateurs who buy and use camcorders with additional accessories. For example, athletes and extreme sports enthusiasts use cameras installed on unstable platforms. Therefore, the potential capacity of the market clearly exceeds $100 mln. The technical advantage of the proposed solution and existing mechanisms of IP protection allow us to make a claim for a considerable share of this market.
Importance for video surveillance
At the moment, we are witnessing a serious expansion of the list of possible applications of video camera stabilizers thanks to their growing popularity for military purposes (on surveillance drones), and among many other services and industries: security, construction, energy, environment, rescue teams and the police. The cost of military remote monitoring cameras installed on drones reaches one million dollars for one multifunctional device.
The number of light and affordable drones and other aircraft (multicopters as a rule) for civilian and amateur use exceeds a hundred thousands of units a year. Drones are the most frequently used device used for aerial filming, and high-quality shooting is not possible without a stabilizer in this case. Each stabilizer contains two or three servos. The cost of each servo for the mass segment must not exceed 100 dollars in the first years after launch. Therefore, the potential size of this market exceeds dozens of millions of dollars.
Importance for steering devices
This field of commercial application hasn’t been studied yet.
Instead of the missing analysis, please take a look at a hypothetical example of the economic effect assessment: The cost of military missiles manufactured in the world is measured in billions of dollars. If enhancements in this technology increase their efficiency and accuracy by 1%, 1% fewer missiles will be needed to destroy the same number of targets.
Importance for robotics
The potential of this niche has not yet been thoroughly studied. We believe that an initial 1000-unit batch of servos would be quite reasonable for mass production. Demand will follow the process of implementing the servo into serially manufactured devices from other vendors.
The servomechanism transmitting restrain force to a load device for use with standard remote control systems. The magnitude of the transmitted force is proportional to the control signal and does not depend on the position of the actuator. Internally or externally mounted dynamometer is used to control amount of restrain force. The invention provides means to simplify a great number of mechanical devices which require control of servomechanism output force, or an output force of a mechanism controlled by a servomechanism. It allows improving technical characteristics of many devices, by using it instead of servomechanism with load device position control. It is particularly useful in but not limited to fields, such as remotely controlled lightweight devices, robots, radio controlled models, video camera suspenders.
This material was prepared in March 2014.