Need help building a conveyor belt picture taking photo booth for multiple items

Hello I am new and I was referred to this forum as I was told that somebody or some team could help me build something that came into my head the other day. I have started a e-commerce business which requires taken a whole lot of photos for example listing 10,000 items I would need all angles which will require me to have 40,000 photos so I was thinking of a first team robotics League helping me create a conveyor belt system which would take the items into a photo booth and snap all angles at once and would move at a fast pace so I can be able to take that amount of pictures. Can somebody please kindly give me a call so they can help me out on this idea or if anybody can guide me to creating this. My name is Jipu (Jay) and my phone number is redacted thank you and have a great day and please be safe!!!

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So, word of caution: your query comes under 48 hours from the Kickoff event and game reveal that starts the 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition season. Answers and solutions may not come as quickly as you want.

The rest I’ll leave to the community.


You may want to look into 3D scanners that use DSLR cameras. They are normally called DSLR photogrammetry rigs. Add a conveyor belt and you will have a nice semi-automated system.


There are rigs that require much fewer cameras but tend to have more moving parts. Just depends on how many angles you are doing and how many pictures you want to take per product. Also, I would look into doing focus stacking to get super crisp product photos.


With all that being said you may want to look into one of these.

Here is an interesting concept that you may want to consider for your conveyor belt .

The “rollers” on this conveyor belt use a common FRC device called an omni wheel. These are wheels that incorporate rollers to allow free crosswise motion while still providing some traction in the rolling direction. Below the surface of the tables, each of the omni wheels is driven by a separate motor such that by spinning the wheels at different speeds, you can move the objects on the table in all of the crazy motions that you see in the video.

A table like this would be possible to construct using components that are readily available in our parts ecosystem.

The next problem is to detect the position of the objects on the table in such a way that you can create a controller for the motors driving the wheels. Depending on how similar or dissimilar your items are. If the items can be placed on a consistent sized “tray” the problem gets a lot easier and the number of sensors needed may be relatively small. But, you would really need to think about what your requirements are for this system before tackling that aspect of the design.

Edit: By the way, I assume from your area code that you are in SE Michigan. I believe that just about every high school in Michigan has a robotics team. So, you may want to reach out to a few of the area high schools and ask if they are interested in an off season project. As Billfred indicated, we are just about to launch into our 2022 competition season so you will not be able to get anyone’s attention for a few months. But, if you can wait until summer / fall you may be able to find a team that would love to take this on.

If you want, you can shoot me a DM. I’m a full time automation engineer who Deals with this stuff almost every day. I’d be glad to give some help if you give some more specific details.

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The above comment with the camera scaffold is a pretty decent first start.

The challenge in a task like this comes from a few different items

  • Maintaining focus on the cameras (if the items are of variable size)
  • Getting items onto the conveyor system in the first place

If there are a finite number of items to photograph, it may make more sense to just have someone manning a simple multi-camera rig and another person placing items in it. The cost of engineering, validating, using, and maintaining a conveyor system is likely too much for it to actually be worth it.

Indexing and positioning items of indeterminate size and shape on a conveyor belt is a nontrivial task worth millions of dollars. If the purpose of the envisioned system is purely to eliminate the need for a human to click the “capture” button at the right time, and to eliminate the need for someone to position the item in the photography area, you aren’t really solving those problems. To meet realistic cost expectations, you likely need a human to place the products on the conveyor belt. Depending on the products, you may also need someone to manually trigger captures as well, because it may be difficult to effectively detect appropriate item positioning.

Now, from an engineering perspective, it is a solvable problem. The hang-up is in the business case.

Two employees working warehouse wages should be able to photograph at least 10 products an hour (though 6 minutes per product is a very conservative estimate). 10,000 items would take 25 weeks at a full-time pace. With 20 employees you could probably do it in 3 weeks. It scales fairly linearly. That is a cost of under 3$ per product listing. Can you build a reliable conveyor system to do this task for $30,000? Might be possible depending on the products in question, if you did it yourself. If you were going to pay someone else to build it with/for you, I would expect it to be much more expensive.

While the idea of “having a FIRST team help you build it” is great and all, FIRST teams generally expect to be compensated for their efforts in the form of a Sponsorship. This is for a business where you expect to earn a profit, and so you should expect to pay a reasonable fee to anyone helping you complete the task.


How would I be able to get in contact you can call me at two 4 8 Nine 7 nine one 0 sixnine


Garrett suggested you direct message him on the site (not everyone feels comfortable putting their own private contact information on the internet in the open). You can do so by clicking the picture on his post, and then the “Message” button with an envelope.

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Couple things you may want to consider Jipu.

  1. The weight range of these items: what’s the heaviest item and how many items will be on the conveyor at once? What’s the spacing between each item?

  2. When you say at a “fast pace” do you have a requirement for say parts per minute you need pictures of or how many feet per second you want the conveyor going?

  3. What’s the dimension range of the items? Is the smallest 1 inch wide and the biggest 2 feet wide?

  4. How are you getting the parts to and from the conveyor? You could have someone put them on and take them off manually but it seems like that defeats the point of automating it with a conveyor. Maybe you could have a fixed or rotating accumulation table at the end to help with this.

  5. How often is this conveyor running? 8 hours a day 5 days a week? 24 hours a day 300 days a year? Probably less than either of those?

Just some thoughts. Hope you’re successful with your project :slight_smile:

Are you familiar with any Custom Automation Integrator companies near you? Providing custom engineered solutions like this is exactly what they do. What is your budget for this project? I don’t know your background so can’t guess how familiar you are with building or purchasing custom automation. You might be able to find engineers here who do that kind of work (like me :slight_smile:), but working with a partner company will ensure much more success.

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I have the specifications made and I just need somebody to help me make it can you suggest anybody that can help me please I would really appreciate it

Several users have offered to discuss this further with you. If you would like more help than they have already offered, you will need to provide more information. A budget, location, designs, and more would all be required for anyone here to give you an informed suggestion beyond something you could just Google on your own.

However, I think that you may find that reaching out to a company specializing in automation integration (as suggested by @Monochron) would be much more useful in the long term.

Hi Jipu! Have you build the conveyor belt for photo shooting?

Not yet I have a team who is working on it and will be done within 30 days. Fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:

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