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Effortless Aerial Photography

Innovative telescopic mounted camera systems for semi-aerial property photography

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Sellafield Nuclear Waste Inspection

Very fast frameless motor stereo vision telepresence robot heads

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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

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Tri-Sensor Rapid Deployment Units

Three sensors - visible long range, image intensified with a laser illuminator and long range thermal

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Revolutionary Video Server

Motion block and face detection, compression, hard drive buffer, isolated I/O,
RS 485 local PTZ control

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Precision Silent Brushless DC Motor

This ground breaking development evolved into the current Titan iBLDC product line

1985

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.

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.

 

 

 

1987-1991

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.

frameless motor stereo vision telepresence robot heads
frameless motor stereo vision telepresence robot heads

1991

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.

1992

Overview Skyline Video System

 

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.

1993-1994

Near zero backlash double enveloping worm drive

 

 

Development of a near zero backlash double enveloping worm drive for a specific customer application.

1994

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 released its very first dome design
Wire race bearings

1994-1995

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.

Fully programmable privacy patch imposition electronics

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.

Remotely operated motorized optical system

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.

High performance Periscope

1995-1996

DC receiver electronics with presets designed and manufactured for Vicon UK.

1998

Large rapid deployment units with three sensors

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.

 

Specialised Pan and Tilt drives units

Specialised Pan and Tilt drives units

Robust local controller

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.

1998-2002

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.

Advanced Dome units

Advanced Dome units

2001-2004

Video server

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.

2005-2006

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.

Advanced camera positioning solutions

Advanced camera positioning solutions

2008-2012

Brushless motor prototype

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.

2009-2012

Maia Camera

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.