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Servo Motion Controller

Perfect Focused Lens Inc. is a small company that created a focus indicator system for use with motion picture cameras. The device was patented by its author in Canada (2302463), US patent (6160607) and Europe (CA2302463) and received the Canadian Gemini Award for outstanding technical achievement in 2003.

The focus indicator system uses parallax to indicate when an object in the field of view of a motion picture camera is in focus. It has two video cameras mounted on opposite sides of the motion picture camera. Images produced by the video cameras are superimposed on the screen of a monitor. The video cameras rotate in responses to changes in the focus of the lens. Movements of the lens’ focus ring are detected by a transducer. A control circuit monitors the output from the transducer and operates a motor, which rotates the video cameras in opposite senses. The optical axes of the video cameras cross in the plane in which the lens is focused. The person operating as first assistant camera can determine when the motion picture camera is in focus by viewing the monitor. When an object is in focus, the superimposed images from the video cameras coincide. When the object is not in focus the superimposed images are separated. The focus indicator helps the person who is focusing the camera to rapidly and accurately focus on objects in the camera’s field of view. This reduces re-takes caused by inaccurate focusing and makes set up faster. This reduces production costs.

Contributions to the product:

Conceptualization and ResearchSoftware Development Process
Motion Controller Calibration Procedure
Video Cameras Synchronization Solution
Motion kinematics study and motor control solution
Overall firmware development process
Internal coding standard
Development tools selection
Version control system
Bug tracking system
Written Specifications and ProceduresEmbedded System Architecture and Design
Hardware requirements and system I/O mapping
Functional specification
User interaction and HMI specification
Control system design
Hardware design
Overall firmware architecture
Firmware design documents
Code DevelopmentTesting & Debugging
Board start-up
Device drivers
Real-time OS porting
PID motion loops implementation and tuning
User interface
Firmware debug support
Exception/error handler
Error logging
Testing platform
Simple diagnostic tools
Technical leadershipIntellectual Property
Leading the overall development process
Coordination between electronics, mechanical and firmware teams
International patent: EP1084437B1
US Patent: 6160607
Canadian Patent: 2302463
Author: Dan Diaconu