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Students take library equipment to new heights

By February 15, 2022September 16th, 2023No Comments

By Tiffany Carlson

Felipe Galindo at the Makerspace in the Health Sciences Library

There’s nothing like a mid-winter Minnesota sunset! That’s what Felipe Galindo shows us with his 360 Sunset Flight over the University of Minnesota. A second year College of Science & Engineering student majoring in computer science, Felipe recorded the video using a Insta360 One X2 camera he could check out from the library, mounted on a drone with a device he designed himself.

The Insta360 camera is a new piece of equipment available to students, which records 360 video for use in virtual reality (VR) headsets — a technology the Libraries Makerspaces have had available to students for several years now. The new cameras were purchased with support from the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“I got the push to do [this project] as a way to simulate one of my goals in life,” Felipe explains when asked why he pursued the project. “I like to tinker with CAD, 3D printing, and of course I love VR.”

Still shot from Felipe Galindo’s “360 Sunset Flight @ UMN”

He was able to collaborate with peers in the Toaster Innovation Hub, housed in Walter Library’s basement level, and credits Tremayne Talbot and Libraries’ Multimedia Specialist Charlie Heinz as great assistants in bouncing around ideas and following this project to completion.

About the project

The project began by creating the mount for the camera in a design program called Sharpr3D, made available to Felipe through an educational license for students at the U of M. He printed several prototypes on the Prusa i3 MK3 3D printer in the Toaster. Once the prototype was finalized, a finished product was printed on Felipe’s personal 3D printer using Carbon Fiber PLA for added adhesion and strength.

Once the camera mount was complete, Felipe securely attached the Insta360 to his drone, secured permission from the FAA for this flight, and was able to send the drone up into the sky to capture the footage which can be viewed in a VR headset or on a computer.

Another of Felipe Galindo’s videos, “360 Flight with UMN Ice Statue”

For Heinz, this project is just the first of many he’d like to support which uses this technology. “I hope to see students try out the 360 cameras for immersive journalism,” he says. There are also opportunities to use 360 video to create virtual tours or viewings of spaces that are distant or inaccessible.

How you can get started

The Insta360 camera and other multimedia tools can be found on the Libraries’ website. Set up a consultation or visit VR Open Hours at the Health Sciences Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. to try it out!

Karen Carmody-McIntosh

Author Karen Carmody-McIntosh

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