Every so often you can find yourself unable to take a picture, because human reflexes can’t always handle the timing required in some circumstances. From wildlife photos of animals or lightning to various fast moving objects like bullets or even splashes or balloons popping, one can encounter many situations where hand-eye coordination or shooting skills just aren’t enough to get the job done. And here is where something like the Camera Axe comes into play.
This is an open source project, both hardware and software, that controls a camera or a flash, activating it at just the right time. The brain of the device is the ATmega328 microcontroller with Arduino Bootloader. The Camera Axe possesses a Flash Trigger to activate the flash with, a Camera Trigger for the camera itself, a Sound Sensor and a Light Sensor. The sound sensor is built using an electret microphone and its sensitivity can be adjusted with the potentiometer on the PCB. The light sensor is made with a photo transistor that detects both visible light and IR. The Camera Axe also has a RF receiver so it can be triggered remotely from about 200ft.
I have a lot of respect for open source stuff and this project makes no exception. You can find a detailed component list, schematics, pictures of the PCB, the enclosure and more pictures taken using the Camera Axe, as well as code and information about getting the board in the link below. The part list has detailed pricing for every component used, from voltage regulator and microcontroller to bolts and nuts and the whole thing costs about 120 dollars for a single Camera Axe, which is really cheap for what it can do.
A very interesting, fun, useful and detailed project, the Open Source Camera Axe is another tool for the photography enthusiast that is worth every penny. A demo video is also available in the link.