Drone gimbalsYour gimbal is no longer about image stabilization only. What can serial API add to aerial photography and surveying?

May 13, 2020
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In the past few years, the level of stabilization that aerial and handheld gimbals can deliver greatly improved. The fact that the image is vibration-free and the horizon is levelled comes as a no surprise – even at high speeds or on the uneven territory. We’ve reached the point, when gimbals can offer great camera stabilization plus they can perform additional commands thanks to serial API. So, practically speaking, where does that lead us in aerial photography and aerial surveying?

What is serial API?

Serial API allows for a gimbal to communicate with an external device or application. The gimbal’s controller is equipped with one or more UART ports, which are used to send and receive special commands. These commands can be, for example: to change settings, control gimbal, retrieve real-time data, execute various actions, etc. Importantly, the same serial API is used in SimpleBGC GUI software to communicate with the board, so all functions of serial API can be used in external applications.

How do HD Air Studio industrial gimbals use serial API for additional features?

At HD Air Studio, we use original Basecam Electronics controllers, so our gimbals fully support serial API. This way, users of our gimbals can communicate with the gimbal’s on-board computer, autopilot and perform commands defined by the gimbal operator or some automated tasks.

To give you some idea, how serial API works, let’s take a controller with the LCD display as an example. Such an LCD controller can be used to manage and modify some of the gimbal’s parameters. Depending on your needs, the controller can manage basic features or advanced parameters, e.g.: manage the joystick responsible for controlling your camera or trigger your camera remotely to take pictures.

In practice, how can serial API be used in gimbals for aerial surveying or aerial photography?

Serial API is successfully used for more sophisticated applications, such as active tracking of objects by the gimbal. To make your gimbal track objects, you need special software that coordinates the gimbal movement and a graphic controller to keep tracked objects on the screen while flying. Drone gimbal with active tracking of objects is a great option for aerial surveying and aerial photography businesses. You can use it to take pictures of power lines, wind turbines etc. during automated drone missions. Dedicated software sends commands to the gimbal controller to follow an object that is on the move or when the drone is moving to change attitude and heading.

As an official partner of Basecam Electronics, HD Air Studio takes part in testing and developing the software. This way, we’re able to offer agile, out-of-the-box approach, while working on camera stabilizers based on serial API for users of HD Air Studio gear. Serial API is used in all HD Air Studio gimbals:

HD Air Studio UAV gimbals
HD Air Studio creates the best aerial gimbals for industrial and commercial use. Check our patent-holding drones. Not a single return in 10 years!

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