Cheap 360 Degree Camera

How much would you pay for a 360 degree camera? How about $15 if you already have a Raspberry Pi and a Pi camera hanging around? If you don’t, you’ll have to add that minimal cost into the build. [Gigafide] noticed how a spherical mirror, made to see around corners, showed an all-around view if you took a picture of it from below. He snagged a panoramic lens made for an iPhone and stripped it for its optics. Some custom software and a little work resulted in a usable 360 degree camera.

SimpleCV (a light version of OpenCV) provides the algorithms to unwrap the frames and you can take video with the setup (see the video below). Mounting the optics took some 3D printing and the Pi operates as a hot spot to send the video out.

If you just play the video below, you won’t be too impressed. You need to pause the video and then use the controls at the top left of the screen to move your view in any direction. Granted, the quality isn’t great, but what do you want for $15?

If you want to see a nice 360 degree video from a drone, we’ve looked at this one. Very nice, but probably a lot more than $15. Or you can try a rocket.

11 thoughts on “Cheap 360 Degree Camera

    1. Sweep the camping/hiking section of a large chain store, some of the tent lights and ‘fake lanterns’ use a very uniform conical or spherical reflector. :)
      The LED and solar light section of Lowes and Home Depot have some very high quality reflectors as well but obviously more expensive.

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