2010-02-19

Camera lens shmootz cleaner for news and sports coverage

Many of you have been watching the 2010 winter Olympics. You have probably noticed the times the camera gets shmootz (water, snow, mud) on the camera lens. The current solution appears to be a hand that sneaks in and cleans the lens, when the camera is off-line (not the select shot for the network, between riders for snowboarding, etc).

This invention will save the day and work great for that automated camera that goes on a track and follows the event. Can also be used for those floating stadium cameras that are out of reach of a human wiper. It is a windshield wiper of sorts but with better cleaning and without the a wiper blade showing up in the screen view. A high speed wiper that goes by in under a 1/30 of a second to hide between frames is just not practical and won't do as good of a job.

Design
2 layers of lenses mounted in front of the camera's lens. Often cameras are already placed inside a box to keep them dry and protected from the elements. These 2 lenses are on a pivot and swing out of the way into a cleaning solution tank or sprayer. The exit from the tank has a squeegee on both sides that the lens passes through. This cleans off the lens upon swinging back into position. No blade passes in front of the camera view and the lens has no boarder so clear view during the short pivot process. The cleaning solution tank is optional but will produce better cleaning.

Why 2 layers of lenses, here is the best part of this design. As one lens is being cleaned the other is blocking new shmootz from getting on the actual camera lens. Once the front lens returns from cleaning the second back lens goes through the process and back into place waiting for the next time the front lens requires a cleaning.

System can be controlled manually by user trigger or automatically based on the patented laser guided shmootz sensor. OK, unpatented shmootz sensor but you get the idea. Record use of Yiddish for this post, just like saying shm... and ootz

1 comment:

Dave said...

You could get away with a single layer if the lens was on a wheel. If a flat lens is acceptable, the entire wheel could stay in motion, moving through moistened sponges and squeegees.