If you hate how huge motion control devices tend to be, this new product called the Hercules is probably what you’ve been wishing for. Using a tiny motor, only a single triple-A battery, two major parts and with enough power to use with basically any camera, this pocket-sized device looks pretty darn impressive.
Filmmaking is getting easier and easier to get into thanks to affordable, compact devices. This is pretty much as compact as it can get, with a design that looks like a combination of Edelkrone pocket gear and CineSkates. It’s only limitation is that the wheels require a flat, smooth surface to give you useable shots. In the video above, it appears they use a matt in several of the outdoor shots in order to assure this, which is a pretty good idea actually. The requirement of flat, smooth surfaces was what made CineSkates a challenge to use. Why? Because let’s face it: the world is not flat and smooth.
This is what the Hercules specs look like:
- Product Weight: 4 oz/110 g (Hercules with curved wheel bracket)
- Max Camera Weight: 20 lbs/9 kg (using optional cheese plate for support)
- Max Continuous Speed: 1 inch/sec or 2.5 cm/sec
- Index Distance for Time-Lapse: .01″ – 1.0″ / .25 mm – 25 mm
- Index Cycle Time for Time-Lapse: 1 sec. – 60 sec.
- Power: 1 AAA battery
- Battery Life: up to 1.5 hrs for continuous move/up to 5 days in time-lapse mode
The Hercules has both a straight and curved wheel bracket that allows you to use it reliably in a line, or bend the curved bracket to circle an object or create a turntable effect.
When attached to the curved wheel bracket, The Hercules becomes an essential tool not just for film makers but also professionals, from real estate agents to online retailers, who want to capture beautiful videos of their products where ever they go.
The Hercules drive unit can be easily attached to the panoramic base to create panoramic photos, panning videos, and time lapses. The panoramic base contains two components, the base containing a ball bearing and the clamp to hold the drive unit, that can easily be disassembled and fit in your pocket.
If you want to elevate your shots and not worry about a bumpy ground, you can also add the slider track base.
The Hercules Track is made from extruded aluminum that is both light and attractive. Both ends are supported by four adjustable feet so you can create smooth videos anywhere. The 20 inch track weighs about 1 pound and has universal threaded holes on 3 spots along the track for mounting to a tripod.
The build looks incredibly strong, and they try and prove that by dropping the Hercules and running it over with a car… which it survives.
For a retail price of $150, and a Kickstarter price of $99, this is a heck of a deal. With gear like the Hercules, you can literally film anywhere at the drop of a hat. That’s amazing, and something we should all be behind. Go check out their Kickstarter for more information.