TaskCam 3D-printed

TaskCams recreate the proven Cultural Probe technique of relabelling disposable cameras with requests for pictures. The 3D Printed TaskCam is the basic workhorse of the collection, robust and flexible enough to use across multiple studies.

The 3D Printed TaskCam has a small screen on the back that shows a scrollable list of requests for pictures.  Researchers can load their own list of requests onto the camera to prepare for a study. When users take a picture, the image is tagged with the current request, and stored on a standard flash drive that can be removed for downloading.

The casing for the 3D Printed TaskCam can be printed successfully without support materials even on low-end printers.  The device requires a custom Arduino shield,  buy online at cost price, or follow the open-source plans to make yourself. Smart power management mean that two AA batteries provide more than enough power for an entire user study. 

Specifications:

TaskCam Version 2.0
Camera Dimensions 124 x 50 x 107mm
Image resolution 1024 x 768pixel
 

 

 List of all the components to assemble the TaskCam

TaskCam Arduino shield available here
Arduino Uno or compatible
3D printed case download file here
Micro SD card
2 x AA batteries
2 x No.2  6.4mm self-tapping screws available here
Camera and battery leads (supplied with the TaskCam Arduino shield)

List of handy equipment

small Phillips screwdriver (cross head)
3D printer

Download Files

.stl files (for direct 3D printing) and .step (editable assembly) files

to view and download various file formats
3D-printed TaskCam 2, Fusion360


Step 1 Print the camera case and gather components

  Step 2  Program the Arduino Uno following instructions  here

Step 2 Program the Arduino Uno following instructions here

Step 3 Separate the battery and camera modules from the shield using side cutters

  Step 4  File the cut tabs of each module smooth

Step 4 File the cut tabs of each module smooth

Step 5  Solder battery leads to the board observing the correct polarity

Step 6  Connect the battery lead into the battery socket on the main board

Step 7 Connect the camera lead into the camera header on the main board, observing the orientation in the photograph above

Step 8 Connect the camera lead into the camera header on the camera module, observing the orientation in the photograph above

Download probe questions file

Step 9 Your camera needs some questions. For advice on how to write good Probe questions, please read here. Insert the micro SD card into your computer.  Write your questions in the text box below, giving each question a new line. Once you're done, click "Download questions file". Your browser will download a file called "q.txt". Place that file into the SD card. Eject it and unplug it from your computer.

  Step 10  Insert the Micro SD Card

Step 10 Insert the Micro SD Card

Step 11 Insert two AA batteries

Step 12 Insert Arduino Uno into the main board, taking care to pass the camera lead between the two

Step 13 Slide the battery module into the the lower shell of the case

Step 14 Slide the main board and Arduino into the the lower shell of the case

Step 15 Slide the camera module into the the lower shell of the case, taking care with the camera and battery leads

Step 16 Slide the front section of the camera into the lower shell

Step 17 Slide the rear section of the camera into the lower shell

Step 18 Place the top section of the camera into the lower shell, taking care to locate the front and rear sections into their slot

Step 19 Use two No.2  6.4mm self-tapping screws to secure the case

  Step 20  Switch on the camera on by pressing and holding the shutter / power button

Step 20 Switch on the camera on by pressing and holding the shutter / power button

 
 

How to use 

  1. Turn camera on by pressing and holding the shutter / power button.
  2. Select a task with the left and right button next to the display
  3. Use the viewfinder to frame your picture, press the shutter button to take a picture that answers the task. The display graphic changes when a picture is taken
  4. Select your next task
  5. The camera with switch off automatically or by pressing and holding the shutter / power button.