I have previously reviewed the Soloshot2, a robot cameraman to record me and the horse when schooling and competing. I was enthusiastic about being able to see and review even ordinary schooling sessions and found my riding and training improved. The biggest issue was that the Soloshot2 did not work indoors so when I had a Move n See from Pixio to review, I was delighted to find it works well indoors, even in poorly lit indoor arenas.
The main technology in most robot cameras is GPS, the same as is in a smart phone or satnav, and to work it needs to be able to see the satellites in the sky. Pixio have solved the indoor problem by moving to a different technology called RFID that effectively uses mini-satellites called beacons that you place around your recording area. The downside is they don't have the range of GPS so you can only record within an area of 100m square.
The Move n See has 6 parts - a robot, the camera attached to it, 3 beacons and a watch that you wear to tell the robot what to track. Setup in a new locations requires a bit of time to ensure that beacons are correctly positioned and not too close to metal structures but they have flexible legs to help them cling to fences or perch on a ledge. Once the beacons are in place, the robot is turned on and it will automatically find the beacons. Turn the watch on as well, and the camera will start tracking you with a button to turn recording on and off from the watch.
Once the system is setup it works well and records good quality video of your ride, zooming in and out as you move around the arena to get the horse filling the screen. The end result is better than any handheld camera can achieve.
While reviewing the Move n See I travelled to a couple of events and did have a few issues in setting it up. At one venue the arenas were just too big and at another, it got windy and blew one of the beacons over so the camera did not track the horse accurately. Keeping all the devices charged can be difficult if you don’t have somewhere to keep them plugged in all the time, but they could be wired into the mains if they were always in the same location.
Pixio also does a coaching package that, with good broadband (more than 1MB up and down reliably), means you could have a lesson with your coach in a different country. Equestrian centres might consider installing this package and offering it as a service to record training sessions, sales videos and competitions.
The basic package starts at EUR 814 and the coaching package is EUR2125. You can use your own camera, although you may not be able to use the zoom feature. Their recommended camera is a Sony costing another EUR432. I found this camera was particularly good in low light. All prices include VAT.