Jigabot auto-framing camera mount tracks solo performers

Solo videographers and extreme sports junkies wanting to record their adventures could have some robot assistance later in the year, in the shape of the Jigabot robotic auto-framing system. Resembling a Beatles-style yellow submarine, the rotating, swiveling mount takes your GoPro, point-and-shoot camera, or compact camcorder and – thanks to a compact dongle that clips onto your jacket – tracks you as you move around the frame.

What makes Jigabot special, the company says, is that it both rotates and swivels for the full scale of tracking. The latches on top and bottom are generic, with slip-on sleeves that can take a standard tripod screw, or fit to the bottom of cameras or GoPro cases. The Jigabot itself then sits on a tripod, boom, or some other stable surface.

Once you clip the waterproof tracking dongle on, the Jigabot pans around 360-degrees "faster than you can move" the company claims. Each emitter – which uses IR, and has a range of 100-150 feet – can be set to one of a number of "pulse patterns", either to each control a separate Jigabot unit, or so that multiple Jigabots track the same person.

Initially, the v.1 Jigabot will work with small cameras, smartphones, and the like, as long as they're under 14 ounces. However, the company has ambitions for bigger versions, that would suit DSLRs and after that even bigger professional camcorders. Battery life is said to be around two hours, with a new battery pack slotting onto the back of the unit.

Unfortunately, the unit Jigabot was demonstrating was non-functional, though the company says it will have working examples this week ahead of a release in June. It'll be priced at $299.