DuCille isn't just your average video journalist. This remote-controlled robot, named after the late Washington Post photographer Michel du Cille, can follow reporters as they move on the scene and capture high quality 360-degree video from all angles, even in conflict zones.
Steven King, an assistant professor of interactive and multimedia journalism at UNC, didn't just intend to build a robot. He wanted to bring innovation to journalism, with hopes that publishers could use these new technologies as an opportunity for new approaches to storytelling.
“How can we tell stories; how can we present news and information in a new and different way; how can we solve a problem that comes along?” Steven King said. “Using technology is a way that we can do that.”
The robot records smooth video by following reporters and stabilizing itself as it shoots. DuCille is touted as being an example of cutting-edge innovation at UNC’s School of Media and Journalism, but the first model of the robot was not quite as sophisticated as it is now.
“The first prototype was built off a step ladder, a drill motor and a remote-control car,” Steven King said. “Ultimately, over a period of a year or so, it then finally became a full-fledged robot.”