Public Lab Research note

More re: small pocket sled kite for Mobius camera

by patcoyle | July 17, 2015 05:19 17 Jul 05:19 | #12073 | #12073

What I want to do

Continue to explore smaller kites for use with Mobius Infragram plant cam. See prior note.

My attempt and results

I tried twice today. First time the winds were too light. See video below.

Later in the afternoon, flight was marginal in terms of lift, but yielded images from the small bottle rig. Modifications were made to the rig after the initial photos. Moved the foam outside the rubber bands. Bands were directly in contact with the camera for more secure connection, which also resulted in better access to camera control buttons.


Video illustrates the low lift issue:

Main image is subset of contact sheet of images:


Here is full contact sheet image:


Questions and next steps

I may move up to the next larger kite, the Parafoil 5, from Into The Wind.


Others may have more informed perspectives on other simple soft kites for use with the Mobius Infragram plant cam.

I'm shooting for very portable, no-spar, alternative to a UAV launched camera.

I also haven't yet tried to correct the fish-eye distortion and make composite map. Prior results used Gimp.

Alternate lens modifications with less fish-eye distortion may be useful as well.

Photoshop photomerge of selected images illustrate the fish-eye issue:




Images processed with Ned Horning's tool:




Why I'm interested

Portable, "pocket" aerial photo mapping tools have a place in our tool kits.


Really interesting!!! I have the Parafoil 5 and I must say it would easily be able to lift this rig. That said the minimum wind rating on these kites has never worked out right. My Parafoil 5 really wouldn't fly till at least 7mph. I can't comment on your current kite but every small soft kite I have made or bought seems to do better at 7mph or above. I'm curious where are you flying? Might be better to find some large field to test....looks like your really close to a lot of trees and houses. Cool imagery. Can't wait to see this working to it's full capacity.

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Check out my recent note where I review several different kites as Mobius Lifters-

In case you'll be flying over the ocean or water you might also be interested in checking out my floating/waterproof camera housing

RE- Soft Lifters- I had the same idea when I first started in KAP, but as you'll see in my review of the Powersled, I found the smaller models are too unstable while the bigger ones like the KAPfoil are either way too expensive or overkill for something as light as a Mobius... I did however, recently get one of the new airfoils by Prism called the (Bora 7)[] and I'm thinking it might be much more stable because of the long tail. I'll have to give it a try and report back!

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Thanks all. I'm going to try a parafoil 5, This is less expensive than the Into the Wind version.

Also, I read the reviews on the Prism Stowaway Delta Kite and ordered it:



Stows to 18" package. Reviewers on indicate tails are needed except in high winds.

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Oh, yes I'm flying just around the corner from my house. I sometimes do that when I'm testing or don't want to drive, as in this note, which has a map osf the area.

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I have the parafoil 5, need to try this.

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I was delighted with flight performance of this kit using the parafoil 5.

I'll get updates from maiden flight posted soon.

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Its got very good lifting capabilities IMHO. I can't wait to see the results.

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