Gigapan robot snaps panoramic views, assembles results

We're absolutely certain there's a vast array of naturally gifted photographers out there that don't need a robot to do a man's job, but for those of us who can't hold our elbows perfectly still and snap a dozen or so photographs in a panoramic pattern without ruining the entire shot, Gigapan's got you covered. The robotic shooting platform was developed by Carnegie Mellon University and the NASA Ames Intelligent Robot Group, and can manhandle almost any digital camera in order to capture a wide-angle view of any particular scene without the breaks we humans often inject. The robot will click away depending on a timer and the number of snapshots that users program in, resulting in a very high resolution, widescreen image of a crime scene, vacation overlook, or your entire basement wall of Transformers posters. Moreover, the team has developed accompanying software to "piece together" the resulting images, leaving a nearly flawless reproduction of a panoramic view with an immensely increased level of detail. Expected to cost "around $200 or less," the Gigapan could be in civilian hands as early as next month, after which we'll have to start an entirely new photo contest devoted to cramming as many miles as possible into a single, uber-wide shot, but for now, be sure to click on through for a small taste of what this monkey can do.

[Via Primidi]