ONYX | A new way to use, stabilise and protect your camera project video thumbnail
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NZ$ 16,573 pledged of NZ$ 100,000 goal
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By Arculus
NZ$ 16,573 pledged of NZ$ 100,000 goal
backers

About

Meet the Arculus ONYX      

ONYX is the first additively manufactured and protective three-axis camera gimbal. Its revolutionary new design, advanced materials, and manufacturing techniques allow it to be incredibly lightweight, intuitive to use and helps protect your camera.  

Inspired by our love of action sports and the New Zealand outdoors the ONYX was built to redefine camera motion control, allowing you to capture production quality video content in the most dangerous situations and environments.

We inspire filmmakers to take risks & create without compromise.

Ultra Lightweight               

Weight is a critical component of handheld camera movement. The skeleton is laser sintered aerospace grade titanium alloy which is surrounded by a carbon fibre skin. Every gram of weight has been calculated to provide maximum strength and structural integrity. So it can be operated for longer, go further and capture shots nobody else is willing to get.

Compact, Agile and Versatile               

ONYX has an extremely shallow depth and small size. In combination with its ultra lightweight design this allows it to be held close to the body for extended periods, fit into incredibly tight places and with its unique handle geometry, be held in the most awkward situations. Its versatility is ready for anything you can throw at it.

Impact Protection              

When pushing the limits accidents happen. When it takes a tumble, every aspect of ONYX’s structure is designed to provide maximum structural strength and impact absorption to help protect your camera. It encourages you to create production quality content in the most challenging situations and environments. 

The ONYX was designed for filmmakers with compact cinema cameras who want to increase production value with high-quality video content, in dangerous situations and environments.

Filmmakers will often compromise on their content quality to protect their equipment or use equipment that is less than ideal. To stabilise video requires cumbersome equipment and usually restricts your freedom of movement.

We designed ONYX to become the next generation of camera movement equipment to allow filmmakers to take their cameras to places once thought as impossible.

Some adventures take you well past your comfort zone, and this is where the ONYX was specifically built to thrive. Destroy the limitations of how your compact cinema camera can be used.

Push your limits like never before.

ONYX is built using advanced manufacturing techniques with the strongest and lightest materials available.    

Titanium alloy has the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal and is used to build the skeleton of the structure. Using DMLS (direct metal laser sintering) a form of additive manufacturing and topology optimisation we have mathematically calculated material layout. DMLS uses a high-powered laser and reads from a cross-section of a CAD file and micro-welding particles of fine metal powder together to form an exact shape. It enables several shifts in thinking and capability. DMLS makes more with less; reducing waste, component count, assembly times, energy and raw material input.

Carbon fibre shells in combination with carbon fibre tube hold it all together, providing a structure of high stiffness and strength. The shells have been developed with a toughened resin to withstand impact forces better.

Fibre reinforced plastics have used in the areas requiring less structural stiffness such as the control board housing, battery pack and handle mounts. Parts can be optimised to be incredibly lightweight and durable.

We have an optional upgrade protection package to extend impact protection for ONYX and your camera which includes: 

XRD Poron Foam Technology that covers the outer carbon fibre shells and the handle. It is a closed-celled polyurethane that is a lightweight, thin material engineered for impact and shock absorption. Soft and flexible to the touch, yet tough on impact.

A removable polycarbonate dome has been injection moulded for consistent optical and dimensional performance with a surface precision between 1-10 micron and surface roughness lower than 10 microns. ONYX provides the ultimate 360-degree protection when in the most dangerous environments. 

Note: The domes will only mount onto the protection upgrade. The domes could be removed if not needed, cutting your weight down to 1100 grams without batteries.

The 32-bit control system is the heart of ONYX and provides optimal image stabilisation performance even in the most demanding conditions. Features such as encoded brushless motors and long battery life provide added versatility and functionality to ONYX. Shake-free performance that you can rely on.               

We have three pre-programmed user modes for the most common camera operator movements. Have the ability to move and hold the camera to stay in the desired direction and the ability to control important parameters via a smartphone app. So you can have ONYX work precisely how you want.

Follow Pan

Smoothly follows the panning motion to smooth out any unwanted camera operator movement. The speed and amount of movement before it follows can be controlled via the app.

Follow Pan + Tilt           

Smoothly follows the panning and tilt motion to smooth out any unwanted camera operator moment. Point the camera where you want, and it always keeps the horizon level. The speed and amount of movement before it follows can be controlled via the app.

 

Lock Axis     

This mode allows the operator to focus on a specific subject where the pan, tilt, and roll will be locked.

Software Features     

Additional software features include the ability to use ONYX to make time lapses and hyper lapses content. The gimbal can be mounted or placed to perform time-lapses.

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For our Kickstarter campaign, we will only be producing a limited quantity of units and shipping in order of our backers.   

ONYX

ONYX Protect   

The ONYX supports a wide range of mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, camcorders, and compact cinema cameras weighing up to 2.0kgs (4.4 lbs).              

The ONYX was built for cameras with compact prime and compact wide angle zoom lenses that are short in length.

A camera and lens can rotate 360 degrees on the pan axis if it's short enough. When a long lens is used its range of movement can be limited. An electronic bump stop can be programmed in so that your camera and lens is never damaged against the side of ONYX.

Here are some common camera models that fit within ONYX.

Sony A7s                                                                            Panasonic GH4 

This small list is continuously growing as we continue to test and create amazing footage with ONYX. If you have a specific camera and want to know if it will fit, ask us in the comments section.          

Our unique three-step balancing allows for rapid set up and re-balancing times. Using batteries to assist as counterweights, any additional weight you are carrying is helping you go longer.              

Step 1: With the ONYX on a flat surface, the camera is attached to the camera plate.

Step 2: Balance the pan axis by sliding the camera plate forwards and backward in the camera plate holder, then using the battery pack, adjust by moving it closer or further away from the camera.      

Checking the balance by turning the roll axis and testing the camera does not spin when rotated to different positions.      

Note: small counterweights can be used if fine tuning is needed.

Step 3: Now the camera needs to be moved up and down to balance the roll axis.      

To test if it is balanced pick the ONYX up by the handles and spin with your thumbs to see if it is bottom or top heavy. Adjust up or down until balanced.

In balancing the roll axis, you have simultaneously balanced the tilt axis.            

The ONYX is now ready to be turned on and used. 

Below is a short montage of some previous prototypes. The video shows our first electronically working prototype to user testing a fully functional prototype.

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We are brothers from the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand with a love of actions sports and the New Zealand outdoors. We love to design, film and push the boundaries of what is possible. 

During Geoffrey's final year of his photography degree, he was capturing action sport images for a magazine he was creating. Putting himself and his equipment in some very dangerous situations to try and capture innovative shots. Like the images below where he followed a snowboarder on skis over a 40 foot and shot from the hip.

We soon realised that Geoff was not the only content creator pushing the boundaries. Other action sports and adventure filmmakers were taking risks and putting unsuitable equipment into dangerous situations. Or compromising the quality of their content to either protect their equipment or use equipment that captured less than ideal footage. To get smooth shake free video resulted in further problems, equipment was bulky, heavy and cumbersome and often restricted their freedom of movement.

When taking risks accidents eventually happen, usually having large consequences with ruined camera equipment.

We knew there had to be a better way to combat this difficult problem. What if we could create a product that helped protect your camera, helps you create better quality footage and is extremely intuitive to use? 

With our unique skill set, design and electronic experiences, we developed ONYX. We liquidated our personal assets and set up a small workshop with some basic machinery in our parent's garage. We have been working extensively to design, assemble and program ONYX. Working on an extremely tight budget, we are extremely proud of what we have achieved. 

ONYX was built to inspire filmmakers to take risks and create high-quality content without compromise, redefining what you can do with a compact cinema camera.

Future Development

Create accessories that work with ONYX, different handles, and mounting platforms, so that it can be easily attached to drones, jibs, cranes and other vehicles. We believe we could simplify the balancing system further and we also want to create a larger ONYX that has the ability to carry larger camera and lens payloads.

Jimmy has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons), with over 10 years experience in consumer electronics and has worked through a range of different product development life cycles. He is a CAD design and FEA analysis expert specializing in digital manufacturing. He has experience running his own business where he was repairing a range of mass manufactured consumer electronics. This technical knowledge expanded his interests in UAVs, where he built custom racing drones and his understanding of PID controllers rapidly expanded.             

At university, for two years he was apart of Formula SAE motorsport race car team. The chassis design team the first year specialising in carbon fibre fabrication and a powertrain engineer the following year working on their first electric car and specifically the motor cooling system.  

Jimmy's wide skill range and experience with different product development life cycles have been invaluable throughout the project.

Geoffrey has a Masters of Design in Industrial Design, a Bachelor of Design (Hons) in Photography and a Diploma in Digital Fabrication. His love of action sports and the outdoors has translated through into his photography and filmmaking. This passion developed an interest in the technology and tools that are used to help capture content in these demanding situations. His work experience from freelance photographer to camera operator to a senior industrial design tutor give him a very unique skill set. This has helped him intuitively problem solve any challenge that is put in front of him. 

Geoffrey's passion is to design innovative, functional and intuitive products for filmmakers and photographers, where he has an in-depth understanding of his customer's problems and has immensely helped with the design and function of ONYX.   

We work extremely well together and form a very complementary team, we bounce off each other's ideas and have strived for perfection in every detail of the project.

Funds from the campaign will be going into expanding our electrical and software engineering department so we can each focus on providing our own specific expertise. 

Our shipping includes courier service so that you receive ONYX fast and know where it is at all times during transit. We will be shipping units in order of backers as we will be batch producing our final production units. If your country is not listed contact us to add a price specific to your country.

                       Check out Facebook and Instagram pages!

              

Risks and challenges

HARDWARE COMPONENT MANUFACTURING RISKS

We have used additive manufacturing to produce the lightest and strongest gimbals possible. We are working with a large and experienced company in New Zealand.

Additive manufacturing reduces risk by being able to develop prototypes faster with production required materials and economically at low volumes while increasing complexity doesn’t affect cost. However, currently, print speeds are slow, to minimise this we are limiting our first production run, using industrial size printing machines with large print beds, integrated batch production and complex nesting techniques where multiple units can be produced in a single operation.

For our other plastic and carbon fibre components performance, weight, and strength have always been apart of our design criteria. Currently, we are investigating many proven techniques as well as new technologies that may give us boost in performance and functionality.

ELECTRONIC AND SOFTWARE MANUFACTURING RISKS

Currently, we are using off the shelf electronic components, but we aim to develop our control board and system so that it can be optimised for weight, performance, and functionality. The brushless motors will be further developed so that they work best with our payloads and structure.

EXPERTISE

This Kickstarter campaign will enable us to expand our team, particularly in the area of electrical and software engineering, adding further functionality and performance to the product.

We have also tapped into specific engineering and manufacturing expertise at Callaghan Innovation (New Zealand’s high tech government research institute), who have their head office and engineering laboratories less than 50 km from where we are based. They can provide us with assistance if we meet any roadblocks.

SUMMARY

The current prototype shown throughout the Kickstarter campaign is at the DVT stage in a hardware development cycle. This means will still require further development and testing before we are ready to ship to our backers. We will be transparent and on-time with our updates as the project progresses and will answer any questions our backers may have. We are wanting to provide our backers with a monthly video update on how we are progressing so you can see exactly what we have been doing.

Our team has a strong background in filmmaking, engineering, and design and has spent the last two years developing the hardware and software to make sure it is robust and reliable.

Help us bring this amazing product to life and back us today.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 2,599 or more About $1,793

    EARLIEST BIRD - SAVE $1100!!!

    Receive (1) Arculus ONYX at 30% off the retail price of NZD $3699! Quantities are extremely limited. If you wish to upgrade to the protection package, please add $299 to your pledge!

    Includes:
    • ONYX Gimbal Unit
    • Counterweight Battery Packs
    • Battery Charger
    • Pack of Small Counterweights
    • Camera Mounting Plate
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 6 backers
    NZ$
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 2,999 or more About $2,069

    EARLY BIRD - SAVE $700!!

    Receive (1) Arculus ONYX at 20% off the retail price of NZD $3699! Quantities are limited. If you wish to upgrade to the protection package, please add $299 to your pledge!

    Includes:
    • ONYX Gimbal Unit
    • Counterweight Battery Packs
    • Battery Charger
    • Pack of Small Counterweights
    • Camera Mounting Plate
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 0 backers
    NZ$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 3,339 or more About $2,303

    GET ONYX - SAVE $ 360!

    Receive (1) Arculus ONYX at 10% off the retail price of NZD $3699! If you wish to upgrade to the protection package, please add $299 to your pledge!

    Includes:
    • ONYX Gimbal Unit
    • Counterweight Battery Packs
    • Battery Charger
    • Pack of Small Counterweights
    • Camera Mounting Plate
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 0 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)