National Geographic's photographers Michael "Nick" Nichols and Nathan Williamson for the past few years have been filming lions in Africa's Serengeti. In order to get some amazing footage, Nick and Nathan use high tech gear in the field to get where no human dare go. Using a robot designed and built by SuperDroid Robots of Fuquay Varina NC, they were are able to get inside the pride to study and explore the world of lions. SuperDroid Robots' robot at first brought about some suspicion and curiosity from the pride but within a matter of days they opened up to the robot and paid it little attention, giving National Geographic the advantage of getting up close and personal with the pride. See the technical details about the robot build below and feel free to contact us or fill out our custom robot request form for a custom robot for your project!
Check out National Geographic's video production, using footage captured by the robot built by SuperDroid Robots, here.
SuperDroid Robots with the lions
Watch this video made by National Geographic featuring the SuperDroid Robots Custom Robot!
The National Geographic project was one that we were excited about participating in. Working closely with Nathan Williamson on robot design and functionality, the SuperDroid team were able to come up with a robot that worked perfect for the project. The robot featured our standard LT Tracked Platform. We then added the custom pan and tilt housing to hold two Canon cameras. The pan and tilt system also had a 3rd axis to level the cameras when the robot was on uneven terrain. The robot was operated over a wifi network and the images the camera were capturing was controlled remotely. A custom program was written to control the robot from the safety of the truck. The filming effort with the robot took two years. After the first year some minor changes were made to the camera pan and tilt so when the lions pressed down on it with their massive paws the system could handle it.
Other related custom robots designed and built by SuperDroid Robots
This is not the first time SuperDroid Robots has built robots for filming nature. We have also built a robot that was designed to look like a turtle and was used to remotely drive and film wildlife. The robot was equipped with a 27X optical zoom camera on a full 360 pan and tilt system. We have also built countless other custom robots for customers that need custom work. Give us a call or fiil out our custom robot request form for a custom robot.
The news is spreading fast!
Articles of National Geographic's research project with the lions of the Serengeti are flooding the internet. We could not be more proud here at SuperDroid Robots to have been a part of such an adventure. Building the robot for National Geographic was an honor that shows that the dedication that we give in building robots for our customers hasn't gone unrecognized.
Read here about how our robot was a vital part of this expedition: