Above: A 360° panorama stitched from 40 photos taken by a KAP rig with no motors or electronics.
The new minimalist camera rig for aerial photography has a limitation. In its simplest form, it cannot take oblique photos with the camera in landscape (horizontal) position. Taking oblique photos in portrait mode is no problem. The one situation in which portrait mode might be preferable is when the photos will be stitched together into a panorama. The bigger vertical angle of view in portrait mode is desirable when only one row of photos can be taken. So if the rig could pan and point the camera in different directions, portrait mode would become a benefit instead of a limitation.
Panning the rig is tricky without adding lots of complexity. User Hobbiestoomany on Shapeways posted a design which has the potential to allow crude panning with the addition of some small pieces of plastic. I am trying to adapt this idea for the new rig. No CAD files were available, so I started from scratch and designed the JerkPan in Sketchup. I made the first test of this sketchy system, and it looks promising. The video below describes the progress so far.
The field test in the video used landscape mode, and it will be more difficult to get continuous coverage with portrait mode. It will also be harder to take enough photos for a big panorama before the kite or balloon moves the rig too far. But making spherical panoramas is not the only goal. The potential to stitch a few oblique aerial photos together into a panorama could be a useful addition. In fact, the ability to capture photos in many directions instead of just one might make the JerkPan a desirable enhancement. But lots more testing is called for.