RC With Camera at Work at HomeYou could send a camera-equipped car under the house to look at pipes or search for the source of that dead animal odor. Get a birds-eye view of your property with a helicopter-mounted camera to aid in landscape planning. If you own many acres of land and you're an RC geek, fly a camera-equipped helicopter or airplane over the far reaches of your domain. Check for fence breaks, lost cattle, and interlopers. Give kids a fascinating and educational view of the world with a night-vision RC sent to explore the wilds of the backyard after dark.
RC With Camera at Play at HomeBut for most of us, an RC equipped with a still or video camera is entertainment -- a novelty for spy games and sneeking up on unsuspecting friends and pets. It might be a cool way to capture video to send in to America's Funniest Home Videos. One of the top RC toys of the 2006 holiday season was the Wild Planet Spy Video RC Car. It was also named Boy Toy of the Year at Toy Fair.
Shop for RC Surveillance EquipmentYou can purchase little spy cams to mount on your own RC car, truck, or aircraft. Or, buy an RC that's already equipped for RC surveillance and photography. There's a camera to fit most needs and budgets.
The Spy Video Car makes a geeky fashion statement with its Heads Up Display (HUD) visor that receives the black and white images from the low-profile, mostly black RC car. It has a 75 foot range. A kid-friendly RC that adults can have fun with as well.
Wild Planet Toys Spy Video Car
Radio Control Spy Video Car at eToys.com (Buy Direct
When you need to traverse rough terrain, like sculptured carpet or the computer cables criss-crossing the floor, turn to the SRV-1, a Mars Rover-style robotic tracked vehicle. It's more for the geeky teens and adults. You wirelessly control this mini robot with your computer up to 300 feet away. It has a mini video camera on-board and proximity sensors that aid manual navigation and allow it to explore on its own.
SRV-1 Mobile Surveillance Robot at Think Geek
These Draganfly Helicopters are best handled by experienced RC pilots. Some of the Draganflyer helicopters are used by the government and military. The V Ti Pro is used by MIT in its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Swarm Health Management Project. If you've got the money to invest and the skill to fly it, you can put this same helicopter to work at home. In addition to being a top-notch RC it features a high resolution color video camera system and comes with the Draganflyer Flight Simulator for Windows.
- Draganflyer V Ti PRO RC Gyro Stabilized Electric Helicopter With High Res Color Video Camera System
- Draganflyer V Ti RC Gyro Stabilized Electric Helicopter With Wireless Video Camera System
Mount a wireless camera on your own RC to create your own radio controlled surveillance vehicle. Look for lightweight cameras for mounting on airplanes, helicopters, and blimps, such as the Mini-Wireless Micro-Spy Video Camera.
- Mini Wireless Micro-Spy Video Camera 2.4GHz (Complete Package) at Hobbytron
- Wireless Color Spy Video Camera Complete Package at Hobbytron
- Wireless Camera Kit 2.4 G Quarter Sized Camera with Video/Sound
- Color Wireless Mini Cameras with Sound from Trend Times
Putting a Camera in the AirPutting a wireless camera atop an RC car or truck isn't a particularly formidable task. Putting a camera on an RC airplane or helicopter -- and making sure it flies -- is a little trickier. You want to put the camera where you'll get a good view. But it needs to be placed where it won't interfere with moving parts and won't throw the aircraft out of balance. Helicopters are especially tricky to fly in their original configuration. Add even a tiny camera and you can throw off that delicate balance. These tutorials and discussions can help you with putting an RC Eye in the Sky.
- R/C Aerial Photography
Glenn Anderson and Bill Dickerson share details of their approach to aerial photography and the planes and cameras they use. See examples of photos they've taken.
- Aerial Photography for Beginners
This selection of discussions from the RC Groups.com Aerial Photography forum are focused on beginners with tips on where to start and cameras to use.
- How to Make Aerial Videos
DadsFunPage describes the equipment they used and has tips and tricks on camera mounting, reception, recording, and quality when doing RC aerial photography.
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