Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SF Bay area
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With modern accelerometers going into just about every device imaginable, I'd bet you could do all the image stablization in software. I don't believe that no software could compensate for the movement of a boat. There's a contest in the robotics field in which cameras are mounted to autonomous helicopters, and computers in the helicopters have to navigate a complex course and fly through a window into a building. No boat's motion is as noisy and complex as a four-foot-long gas-powered helicopter.
I have been daydreaming lately about just such a device as well. I have no practical use for such a thing, but it would be cool. Lots of research robots use such cameras for 360 viewing, so it should be easy to get your hands on one. From there, how hard would it be to write a program that does image processing to recognize the presence of other ships, by their lights or hull shape? Especially against the backdrop against an otherwise empty horizon (during the day at least).
s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
s/v Essorant - 1972 Catalina 27