Sports photography is going robotic for the Rio Olympics this summer. Getty Images announced their plan to place smart photo-snapping robots throughout 20 Olympic venues, Mashable reports.
Sports photographers already attach remote cameras to rafters or sidelines to capture hard-to-get angles. But once a remote camera is installed, there's not much more you can do besides press the shutter button. These new robotics give photographers control to move the camera around. They can alter vantage point, lens focal length, and swivel the camera 360 degrees. As the action moves around the court, field or track, photographers can essentially "follow" along and snap a photo when the timing's right.
The technology is being developed by Mark Roberts Motion Control, which has designed and manufactured robotic camera rigs for feature films such as Harry Potter, Tron: Legacy and Avatar. MRMC is testing its fifth prototype of robotic still cameras in partnership with Nikon, Mashable reported. MRMC and Nikon first collaborated at the 2012 London Olympics, placing remote cameras from high-up angles where photographers weren't permitted.
Just last month, the International Olympic Committee announced Getty Images is its official photographic agency through 2020. "We anticipate 2016 to be the most visual Olympic Games yet, as we bring our photographic excellence to capture the beauty of Rio and the intensity and excitement of this world-class sporting event," Ken Mainardis, Getty's VP of Sports Imagery and Services stated in a press release.
This is just the beginning. Just wait for the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo is creating an entire robotic village, Tech Insider reports.