Effortless Aerial Photography
Innovative telescopic mounted camera systems for semi-aerial property photography
Sellafield Nuclear Waste Inspection
Very fast frameless motor stereo vision telepresence robot heads
Overview’s First Dome Development
Innovative design with wire race bearings and dc brushed digital servo with programmable velocity, acceleration, ‘S’ curve, and jerk in each axis
Tri-Sensor Rapid Deployment Units
Three sensors - visible long range, image intensified with a laser illuminator and long range thermal
Revolutionary Video Server
Motion block and face detection, compression, hard drive buffer, isolated I/O,
RS 485 local PTZ control
Precision Silent Brushless DC Motor
This ground breaking development evolved into the current Titan iBLDC product line
Overview’s first products originating from 1985 where innovative camera systems mounted on a telescopic mast to take semi-aerial photographs of houses for estate agents.
The successful delivery of these aerial photography solutions led the business to concentrate on making specialist camera systems, designing and building the positioning mechanics and electronics.
The late 80’s led to specialist solutions designed for Advanced Robotics Research Ltd in Salford to inspect inside atomic waste storage facilities at Sellafield. The products developed consisted of very fast frameless motor stereo vision telepresence robot heads. The robotic head was remotely slaved to the movement of a human head. The twin cameras automatically focused and their axes converged. The broadcast video lenses carried special motorization.
By the early 90’s Overview was concentrating on very high performance camera motion platforms, as well as technically exciting designs – for instance unique controllers using electronics which could position conventional AC Pan and Tilt units by forcing their synchronous motors to act as stepper motors, and digital servo positioning drives.
The Overview SkyLine Video System was developed to provide advanced electronic circuits that could accurately position AC heads.
This allowed preset positions to be acquired without potentiometers for reference.
Camera and advanced control panel solutions were installed in the Maze prison, and comfortably surveyed the entire 2-mile perimeter.
Development of a near zero backlash double enveloping worm drive for a specific customer application.
Overview released its very first dome design. The units utilised isolated RS 485, wire race bearings, dc brushed digital servo with programmable velocity, acceleration, ‘S’ curve, and jerk in each axis. Wire race bearings were used in the dome unit – this construction allowed bearing races to be set directly in dissimilar materials without being affected by temperature gradients or expansion effects, and at the same time providing immense strength.
Overview developed the first fully programmable privacy patch for the UK Police Scientific Development Branch.
Privacy patches obscure particular areas of the image so as to protect the privacy of individuals or property.
A bespoke solution for a remotely operated motorized optical system was developed that included telescope, rotators, and lens.
These were designed and built for the JET fusion project at Culham laboratory. The unit had to withstand high levels of radiation, and was designed to stare directly into the Torus.
The mid 90’s also saw Overview design and manufacture high performance Periscope units with camera and lens axis coincident with the pan axis, and a mirror covering the tilt axis.
DC receiver electronics with presets designed and manufactured for Vicon UK.
Overview was approached by a Gulf state to build eight large rapid deployment units with three sensors (visible long range, image intensified with a laser illuminator, and long range thermal) with integral cooling for desert operation.
These rapid deployment units had specialised Overview designed Pan and Tilt drives units utilizing printed motor and advanced encoders driving a digital servo. On the Pan unit data and a 40 amp supply was transferred over a unique power slipring.
The solution used an absolute encoder fitted to the final drive and main bearings, which were formed from single wire race units capable of carrying several tons.
The solutions developed for this customer included a very robust local controller for use by forward operators in an emergency.
On the back of a growing business in 1998 Overview moved to a small industrial unit of 1200 square feet and grew its staffing levels.
Closer to home, Overview was awarded an order to design, develop, build, and deliver 400 dome units at a fixed cost within 18 months for Dennard Ltd.
These advanced units initially used dc brushed motors with a digital servo, a reinforced plastic chassis, and a three stage belt drive with moulded pulleys.
These first units used RS 485 serial control with Overview SkyLine control protocol. Later versions moved to a revised drive train with a diecast aluminum chassis and the addition of UTC control.
In the early 2000’s the company designed and built a then revolutionary video server with motion block and face detection, compression, USB and Ethernet communications, a hard drive buffer storage, isolated alarm inputs and relay outputs, plus RS 485 local PTZ control.
The design was working in 2002, significantly ahead of competitive products.
In the mid 2000’s Overview developed a new range of advanced camera positioning solutions. The preceding Overview digital servo systems had very smooth performance and outstanding dynamic range, but Overview was able to develop control electronics to give equal performance from more cost effective stepper drive systems. Overview also introduced unique in-house developed slipring solutions in these products.
At the end of 2008 the mechanical concept of a precise and silent brushless motor was designed to replace the belt and stepper drives used on Pan and Tilt units.
It took two years to develop the integral servo control electronics with advanced precision positional feedback. This motor evolved to the current Titan iBLDC product line and associated unique drive mechanisms.
In parallel with the development of iBLDC motors, Overview started development of a zoom block based on a Japanese lens and Pixim sensor which the company called Maia.
Maia had very extensive auto focus control, and included a very comprehensive menu structure (the Organon interface) together with the ability to control its own Titan brushless motors direct from the camera.
This patented technology means that a complete PTZ only needs two Titan motors and an Overview camera.
Overview retains very comprehensive camera design knowledge.