Technical information
Running on a Mac server, LumPilot relayed instructions from a web browser to a motorised winch attached to a balloon mounted camera. The server simultaneously returned images from the camera to the browser as you raised and lowered the balloon.

The camera was initially attached to a helium filled tube, which lifted the camera up the inside of the stack (see diag.). Whilst this worked during testing, the balloons behaviour on windy days was erratic as a result of the Bernoulli effect which caused it to vibrate violently as air sped up the chimney.

Initially the image from the camera was returned via a battery powered video transmitter, but this was replaced with an umbilical chord carrying power and video. This required the winch hub to allow for several rotating electrical contacts. These are expensive so I've had to build my own with a multi-core axle attached to a series of brushes.

Below are a couple of shots returned by the camera during tests in the John Cotton chimney in Edinburgh.

looking down from the top

 

at the bottom

 

 

 

platform in stack

LUM camera platform