Using MESH IoT Button with RICOH THETA to Create Remote Wireless Shutter

mesh
sony

#1

Here’s a Instructable for combining a RICOH THETA with a a MESH Button to build a remote wireless shutter button for a RICOH THETA.

Quick summary: The MESH button and other IoT sensors and devices are fun and educational. They are probably not cheap enough (around $40 each) to make this a low-cost DIY type project. But if you own a RICOH THETA and are looking for a way to start playing in IoT, this could be a great entry point.

About Instructables

Instructables is a fantastic site that let’s you explore, document and share creations. It’s focused around very specific step-by-step tutorials, including a parts list, that easily let’s you create the same thing yourself. The site has expanded significantly and these days includes classes, contests and lots more. You can be a user or a contributor.

About MESH

MESH was originally an indiegogo project. It is a simple way to use a main app as a central hub to program and connect MESH blocks (IoT devices and sensors) to the internet.

According to TechCrunch, “The team behind Mesh notes on its Indiegogo campaign page that it is ‘a small team of passionate engineers at Sony’s seed acceleration program.’ Sony formed a new business unit focused on fast-tracking new projects that don’t fit the mould of its existing businesses.”

From the MESH Getting Started Section

If you’re interested in the Internet of Things, MESH is a go-to tool for tinkering, prototyping, building, and customizing devices. MESH IoT blocks are designed with everyone in mind, so you can skip the programming and circuitry with our visual coding app or hack away with our SDK.

Each IoT block is a wireless sensor or module with built-in functions to make it easy to prototype and build projects for the Internet of Things.

  • MESH IoT blocks:
  • MESH Button - a button
  • MESH Move - an accelerometer
  • MESH Motion - a motion sensor (infrared)
  • MESH Brightness - an ambient light sensor
  • MESH Temperature & Humidity - a temperature and humidity sensor
  • MESH LED - a LED indicator
  • MESH GPIO - a 10 pin, general purpose input/output

The MESH Smart Trigger Button is $39.99 on Amazon. Use discount code MAKERS00 to get 10% off.

Main Video:

Full Instructable:

Remote-Controlled 360-Degree RICOH THETA Camera With MESH Blocks


#2

Once the button is set will it connect to the camera directly at startup, or do I need to use the phone to connect both devices (mesh button + camera) every time I turn the camera on?

Cheers

PS: I use a Theta V on a “selfie stick” during paragliding flights, and fidling around with an app on my phone in flight is not one of my favourite tasks… :wink:


#3

@DanielTowersey Sounds cool! I’m just getting a new Sony MESH DIY Starter Kit tomorrow, I may be able to test your question this week. My guess is that you do need to connect each time. I do not know this for a fact; it’s my guess.

How did you use the THETA V on your paragliding flights? Set up interval shooting before you take off? Do you do any video? Do you have any examples you can post here?

Also, I’m kind of interested that you’d use the THETA for paragliding. Have you used GoPro or other cameras that are focused on sports? Why’d you settle on the THETA?

Jesse


#4

We use GoPro for standard photo and video included in our package, and sell 360º photos as an optional photo package.
I used an LG 360 cam with I st with the app for interval shooting with the app before take off, and then just needed to press the camera button in flight (on a monopod).
I changed my LG for the Theta V due to 4k video and much superior seaming of the images, but unfortunately found out that for interval shooting I need to press the button on the app, not the camera, with is a pain… other pilots use the wired ca-3 remote shutter with is also clumsy…
Can’t get my head around the fact that the Theta doesn’t have a wireless remote shutter, and the camera button will only take still images even though it is set for interval shooting through the control app…


#5

This is fairly easy for someone to build a plug-in for. The code from Ichi actually does interval shooting, but it’s for bracketing. Someone would just need to add a variable delay and save the configuration settings to the camera.


#6

Sounds nice, but I wouldn’t know where to start… I know nothing about programing… but let me know if something comes up.


#7


#8

Wow, fantastic pictures! Those are taken with the V? Where? Beautiful location. Can practically feel the sensation of floating. :balloon:

I doubt if it serves your purpose, but you know that you can do self-timer mode manually without the app, correct? In other words, not connected to the app, you start up the THETA V with a special button sequence (wifi and power button at the same time) and instead of taking a picture immediatly, it’ll delay it by 2, 5 or 10 seconds. Whatever you set in the app, it keeps that setting next time your start up your V.

https://theta360.com/en/support/manual/v/content/shooting-photo/shooting_photo_03.html


#9

These photos are from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Thanks for the tip, setting the timer mode manually to release the shutter a few seconds after pressing the button already helps getting rid of that “close up” on my thumbnail… haha
Wish there was the same feature for interval shooting as well… maybe on a next update.
Get in touch if you visit Rio any time, we can do a tandem flight, 360° photo package is on the house… :grinning: :+1:


#10

That would be great, thanks for the offer. Rio looks incredible from your pictures.


#11

Wouldn’t it be possible to make a pluggin for the camera to do “manual interval shooting” instead of “manual self-timer”…?


#12

We’ll mention this to developers. I’m hoping something will appear in the upcoming store as a free plug-in in a few months. It’s an easy app for developers to get started with. I’ll add this idea to the developer documentation to encourage them.


#13

yes, it’s possible. Jesse and I will encourage people we know to work on this.


#14

Nice man! :grinning::+1:
Here at our paragliding site alone there must be about 30 to 50 Theta users awaiting such an update, or even better, a wireless remote shutter to substitute the ca-3 cable remote…

I’ll make some “in flight” videos and post them on the comunity :wink::grinning::+1:


#15

Wow, that’s great feedback.

Although it’s also easy to enable a wireless shutter, the problem is going to be making the hardware good enough for day-to-day consumer use in rugged conditions at low cost. This would mean that someone would have to actually design a case for the wireless shutter electronics and have the pieces built and assembled in a contract factory.

Although a base ESP8266 (the guts of the WiFi controller) would be $10, the buttons with the case and internals would be $40. Example of a WiFi button hardware only. That case also does not look good-enough for rugged use, IMO.

This guy wrote an article on using Amazon IoT Dash for different hacks. The dash buttons are $5, but it’s a hack, not a real product for a wireless buttons.

The flic button is also fairly expensive at $35/unit to $25/unit in quantities of 4. The flic case looks more robust and weather resistant.

IMO, the most feasible way to provide a good low-cost user experience is to build a plug-in for the camera and just use the camera buttons on the side to adjust the timing.

Example Spec for Project Requirements Doc:

  • plug-in inside of camera handles timelapse
  • shutter button starts/stops timelapse
  • white LED above shutter button indicates that it is in plug-in mode
  • magenta WiFi LED below shutter button flashing indicates that timelapse is activated
  • rate of flashing provides a clue as to current setting
  • button side button (mode) cycles through pre-set settings
  • companion mobile app is used to configure timelapse settings and store them into camera

@jcasman wrote this concept up on our THETA V Plugin Development Community guide with appropriate credit and thanks given to @DanielTowersey for the idea and feedback.

http://theta360.guide/plugin-guide/concept/#hands-off-action-time-lapse-concept


With all the ideas around remote shutters, I’m reminded of the remote control unit I made 2.5 years ago with a cheap IR remote.

We may be able to plug the IR receiver directly into the THETA V, possibly with USB OTG and write a simple plug-in to set up the timelapse. We can eliminate the Raspberry Pi.

The FLIRC is only $23 and you can use it with standard IR controllers.

http://a.co/ag4OpYL

With this strategy, the developer could focus on building the plug-in and then just tell the user to buy FLIRC on their own.

As I have FLIRC, OTG, and a THETA V with plug-in capability, I may be able to test this myself as a prototype.


#16

Added to @DanielTowersey 's idea to the Community Guide here: http://theta360.guide/plugin-guide/concept/

Daniel, if you want any edits or want to add more details later, just me know.

Really cool.

Obrigado, Daniel!


#17

I also saw that the timelapse plug-in is coming from Ricoh in the Jul-Sep timeframe.