Gigapan is a robotic camera mount capable of using a normal consumer digital camera to create extremely high resolution panoramic images. A built in interface allows the user to specify the bounds of the panorama that they would like to capture. A motorized pan/tilt system automatically moves the camera through potentially hundreds of positions, capturing an image with each increment. The resulting images are transferred to a computer where they are stitched using software supplied by gigapan.org. Stitched panoramas (which can be multiple gigapixels) can be unwieldy to manipulate and view on a home PC, but gigapan.org provides a remarkably simple and fast viewing experience for uploaded panoramas.
I worked on the Gigapan project during my time at the NASA Ames Research Center, in Moffett Field, CA directly after graduating from UCSC. Randy Sargent led the project as part of the Intelligent Robotics Group. Many talented folks contributed to different aspects of the project, some of whom I had the pleasure of working with. My contribution was the first prototype of the onboard embedded control system and user interface, replacing what had been a USB tether to an external PC.