Movi Cinema Robot FAQ

Discussion in 'Movi - Cinema Robot FAQ' started by Andy Johnson-Laird, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Frequently Asked Questions for the Movi Cinema Robot.
    Each question is numbered to make reference to each question easier.

    There are other sources of dope info re: the Movi so check them out if you don't find what you're look for on this page:

    1. Basic Mode or Ninja? Video
    2. Knowledge base : In the app.: Support -> Knowledge Base.
    3. Support forum: In the app.: Support -> Forum. No. Wait. You're already here. o_O
    4. Tutorials: In the app.: Support -> Tutorials or this web page.
    5. Feedback/Customer Support: In the app.: Support -> Feedback/Customer Support. Tell 'em Andy sent you.

    I'll add questions and answers as they are asked and answered.
    Andy

    ====

    #1 MoVI or Movi? What is the correct name
    It is Movi. Specifically Movi Cinema Robot. I surmise we might end up calling it either MoviCR or MCR.

    #2 What type of batteries does it use?
    Lithium Ion. Two 18650 cells with 2000 milliamp/hour.

    #2A What's a Milliamp/Hour?
    An Ampere is the unit of electrical current named after a dude called Ampère (see wikipedia.org). A milliamp is a thousandth of an Amp. If you have a milliamp of electrical current flowing for an hour, you are the proud owner of a milliamp/hour -- it's used, amongst other things, as a measure of a battery's capacity. A 2,000 milliamp/hour battery can supply 2,000 milliamps (or 2 Amps) for one hour (or, if the battery chemistry permits it and you don't mind smoke coming out of the wires, 2,000 Amps for one thousandth of an hour).

    #3 Can I store the Movi Cinema Robot with the batteries fully charged?
    Yes. The Lithium Ion battery chemistry means that the batteries can be stored fully charged without any negative consequences. You do not need to take the batteries down to any kind of storage voltage as one has to do with Lithium Polymer batteries.

    #4 Are the batteries user-replaceable?
    Yes. Just be sure to use top-quality Lithium Ion 18650 batteries. I'm currently evaluating these batteries from Amazon. If the specifications are to be believed, they're 2,600 mAh and therefore might power the Movi for longer than the original batteries. Your mAh may vary.

    #4A The batteries are flat at both ends. What's the correct orientation?
    The original FF batteries have small "+" and "-" signs printed on the case to show which is the positive and negative terminals. You'll also see a large diagram of the correct orientation when you pull on the tab to remove the batteries. Be sure to install batteries with the correct orientation (left hand one, positive down, right hand one, positive up).

    #5 Can I charge the batteries outside the Movi Cinema Robot?
    Sure. Just use a top quality Li-Ion battery charger. I'm currently evaluating this charger from Amazon. If you see a bright blue flash from the direction of Portland, Oregon in the Pacific NW of the USA, do not buy this charger. :rolleyes:

    #6 Where is the User Manual for the Movi Cinema Robot app?
    There is no user manual as such. There will be number of tutorials and reference pages on the Freefly Systems web page.

    #7 I've looked everywhere you suggest, but I still have a question. What do I do now?
    Post your question either on the Movi Technical forum or on Freefly's Facebook page.

    #8 What do the quadrant switches do (near your right thumb)?
    1. Top: Lock focus, set Exposure set to manual if not already in manual and increase exposure.
    2. Bottom: Lock focus, set Exposure set to manual if not already in manual and decrease.
    3. Left: play most recent video in camera roll.
    4. Right: Toggles between the front/back cameras on iPhone.
    5. Center: Toggle from manual to auto focus and exposure.
    See Knowledge Base article.

    #9 When I squeeze the Record Button it does not start or stop recording. What should I do?
    Firstly, you should open up a ticket by sending an email to Freefly Support (support@freeflysystems.com) if you have not already done so.

    Secondly, here's a work-around that might help you. The active part of the Record button is at the top center of the button, so, if you cradle the lower right hand corner part of the Movi in your right hand (with your right palm underneath the corner), you may be able to extend your forefinger straight up the handle and operate the trigger when you need to -- and, better yet, it positions the tip of your forefinger so you can press on the Record button's "sweet spot" at the top center of the button. On my unit, that allows me to operate the Record button reliably. As Tabb has posted, FF are working to resolve this issue with the few units that have it.

    #10 I'm new to the Movi and gimbals: What are the pitch, roll, and yaw/pan axes?
    Imagine holding just your phone in front of you in landscape mode and wanting to shoot video of someone standing in front of you.

    1. Pitch: Now move the phone so you can see your own feet. That's the pitch axis.
    2. Roll: Now move the phone back to its original position and move the phone so that it's at a slant with the person in front of you's head in one corner and their feet in the other corner. That's the roll axis.
    3. Yaw/Pan: Again, move the phone back to its original position and imagine the person walks around you to a position on your left: That's the pan or yaw axis. (Videographers and photographers call it "pan," pilot's call it "yaw." Go figure.)

    #11 When I walk or run with the Movi you can see a bobbing up and down motion on the video
    The Movi gimbal can only cancel out rotation about the pitch, roll, and yaw axis (see #10 for explanation of which axis is which). It cannot cancel out movement along the pitch, roll, or yaw axis and the act of walking or running produces motion up and down along the pitch axis. The way to deal with this is to walk with your knees bent (Groucho Marx must have anticipated the Movi because that's how he walked on camera -- and maybe off camera? Who knew?) You can also use your arms as "shock absorbers" to try and absorb that bobbing up and down motion -- just imagine you were carrying a full cup of hot coffee or tea and you'll intuitively do the right thing.

    #12: I have an iPhone X in an Otterbox: Will it work on the Movi?
    Yes. It's a bit of a tight squeeze to open up the "jaws" on the Movi but it will fit. The extra weight on of the Otterbox makes the iPhone a little heavier that expected -- it will work just fine, but if you want to improve the performance you might need to add a little counter-balance weight on the back. I added 28 grams of segmented lead weights (happened to have this for balancing fixed wing drones). I used segmented lead weights with self-adhesive backing from Amazon and put them on the flat part of the back of the iPhone clamp.

    #13 The MoVI app on my iPhone will not connect to the Movi Cinema Robot. What should I do?
    First, ensure that you are running the Movi Cinema Robot app (its icon looks like the Movi Cinema Robot, not just the word MōVI).

    Second, the Movi app uses Bluetooth (Low Energy, or BLE) to communicate with the Movi Cinema Robot. Sometimes Bluetooth on the iPhone gets "wedged," so turn it off (iPhone Settings -> Bluetooth -> Off), wait a few seconds and turn it back on. On the iPhone, in the Movi app, under Robot -> Main Settings -> Connect, you should see the Movi Cinema Robot appear as FF-MOVI-xxxxxxx (where the x's are an alphanumeric string). If it does not, try powering down the iPhone completely and restarting it.

    #14 I've powered on the Movi but it's just limp. What do I do?
    When it's limp, that means it's "sleeping" to save power. The blue/green LED goes dim every five seconds (suggesting a sleeping person's breathing?). To wake it up, if it's in the clamped position (with the gimbal rotated clockwise as far as it will go when viewed from above) unclamp the gimbal by rotating the base of the gimbal counter-clockwise (when viewed from above) and press the white power button briefly -- the blue/green LED should be bright green, and the battery state white LEDs be bright white.

    #15 I have started the Movi app., the camera's working but I don't see the Response, Window, Tilt, and Roll settings at the top center of the screen. What's going on?
    The iPhone app has not connected to the Movi. Tap on the menu icon at the top left of the screen, tap on Robot, Main Settings and connect to the Movi, then these controls will appear. (Also see FAQ #13 above.)

    #16 I need to update the firmware on the Movi. How should I do that?
    You'll see a notification on the Movi Menu icon at the top left hand corner of the screen. If you tap on that, you'll be guided to the Update screen. Make sure that you have batteries in the Movi with 50% or greater charge and be prepared for it to take about seven or eight minutes to do the update.

    #17 Can I control the Movi using a Remote Control?
    Not using the Movi app directly, but if you put the Movi into SmartPod mode (touch the icon on the lower left of the iPhone screen to select SmartPod mode), then, if you have an iWatch you can start up the iPhone app (it looks like a partial view of a camera with a seagull above the shutter release), then you can trigger the iPhone's camera -- but it uses the iPhone's camera app, not the Movi app.

    #18 Will the Barrel Roll (which rolls the camera a full 360) work with the iPhone X?
    Not if it's in an Otterbox and you have not watched the tutorial -- you need to rotate the Movi around to avoid it hitting the base of the Movi when the iPhone X rolls through the vertical position.

    #19 I really want to shoot images/video in Portrait Mode. How do I do that?
    Watch this tutorial.

    #20 How do I use the Movi Counterweights to balance my phone/lens combo?
    Watch this tutorial.

    #21 How can I get low-to-the-ground shots with the Movi?
    Holding the Movi normally, set the parameters you want for the shot in the Movi app., then rotate the Movi so that you're holding the Movi with your left hand. The UI will be inverted but the scene you're shooting will be right side up:

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge it:
    Movi CR operating inverted 2018-04-27 09.07.41.jpg

    The video you shoot will also be inverted, but you can easily fix that. On the iPhone, open a clip in iMovie, put two fingers on the screen and rotate them around. This rotates the image 90 degrees. Do it again and it will rotate the image 180 degrees and the video will now be right-side up.

    #22 What is "Tuning?"
    The Movi uses several accelerometers/gyros to detect the motion of your hand as you move. When it senses unwanted motion, the Movi uses the pitch, roll, and yaw motors to move the gimbal to cancel this motion out.

    To do this, the Movi needs to be "tuned" to the particular amount of mass on the gimbal so that it can better stabilize it -- and that's the process known as tuning. But first, watch this tutorial because if the iPhone is not balanced, the tuning process will not work as well as it should.

    One point to note: If you have tuned the Movi to be too sensitive it will vibrate pretty noticeably in your hand -- so you need to reduce the tuning values (as described below). If you find that that Movi is not a sensitive for best performance, you'll get the sense that the gimbal is moving sluggishly and not very responsive (or good at canceling out your motion). By the way, check out FAQ #11 above -- the sluggish response to which I'm referring is not motion along the pitch, roll, or yaw axes, but sluggish motion rotating around those axes.

    Anyway, once you've got the iPhone (plus any additional lenses and/or counterweights) balanced, hold the Movi as you intend to use it (and that's important -- "tune it like you use it!") then use the Tuning option. (Robot -> Main Settings -> Tuning). Select the Regular. If the Movi/lens/counterweight combination is very light, you may need to try the Low setting. Or if the Movi/lens/counterweight combo is quite heavy, then try the Plus setting. In the Plus setting if you feel the Movi vibrating, you know that the Plus setting is too much, so drop back to the Regular settings. If you try the Low setting and the Movi doesn't seem to be a bit sluggish when you're in Majestic mode, revert to the Regular setting.

    Once you think you have the Movi tuned, as a quick test, hold the vertical handle in your right hand and tap the left hand edge in the middle of the iPhone's screen -- did you feel any hint of vibration after the tap? If so, then you have "over tuned" the gimbal and you'll probably find that it will vibrate in certain positions of the camera. So back off the tuning until you can tap the left hand edge in the middle of the screen and there's no trace of vibration.

    More on the Custom tuning when I've figured it out myself! :)

    ... More FAQs to follow....
     
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Where's the reference for what all the keys on the handle do? I can't quite figure it out, and the record button is a little fidgety...or maybe I don't understand how it works.

    My robot typed this :cool:
     
  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I don't think it's published yet, Steve. My experimentation suggests:

    1. Top: Exposure set to manual if not already and increase.
    2. Bottom: Exposure set to manual if not already and decrease.
    3. Left: play most recent video in camera roll.
    4. Right: Toggles between the two cameras on iPhone.
    5. Center: Toggle from manual to auto exposure.
    Cheers
    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
    #3 Andy Johnson-Laird, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  4. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    1. Thank you!
    2. Do we anticipate a way to customize these?

    I appreciate you being a medium for the Freefly peeps. ;)
     
  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I do my best to channel Tabb and the tech support team.

    No data on whether we can customize the buttons, but I did make that suggestion. Can you clarify what you mean by the record button being a bit "fidgety," Steve. Do you mean "intermittent" or "keeps wanting to move around?" :rolleyes:

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  6. Daniel Dye

    Daniel Dye New Member

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    Any updates on the Amazon batteries?
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Hi Daniel:
    So far they seems to be working fine -- as does the charger. The 18650-style batteries are pretty much "industry standard" it would seem.

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  8. Daniel Dye

    Daniel Dye New Member

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    Thanks for the update. I ordered mine this past week and will be picking up at their office outside of Seattle. So looking forward to it that I might be doing a bit of advanced research in my spare time ;)
     
  9. Bea Vo

    Bea Vo New Member

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    Hi All!

    I have my movi cinema robot---I actually tried to install the firmware update using iOS. It went through steps 1-6 of 6 before saying the firmware update failed. I then pressed "Revert"--went through steps 1-2 of 2 then the movi robot will now no longer turn on. It was fully charged, When I plug it into a power source the lights don't come on.
     

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