Is there a good robot cameraman?

I have recently seen advertisement for Pivo robot cameraman. It is a tracking robot for taking videos of moving rectangular objects like a horse and rider. It is reasonably priced. It communicates with your iPhone or Android and points it where you are automatically zooming as the distance requires. It is software driven like a drone. Just a tripod, the device, your phone and a on/off remote. Has anyone used it for videoing driven dressage? Does it work good with the horse and vehicle?

Not yet, but it’s on my list to get!

The only thing that may be a challenge is where to place it. Near X is impractical but not impossible. A or C might make it hard to see or track of you are 100 meters away, so I’m thinking B or E.

Fortunately (for this, anyway) the daily area I practice dressage is a smaller than the small arena so it should work there, but I have been thinking about whether it will work when I go over to work in a small regulation arena.

I have the Solo Shot. I bought it based off the strongest reviews. My experience has been terrible. I’ve never managed to get it to work, and forget it if you have spotty Internet. Such a waste of money. I’ve had it for a couple of years, so perhaps they’ve improved the products.

well, I bit the bullet and ordered one, so eventually there will be an update on how well they work with driving! Of course AFTER I purchased it, I noticed the back of my phone is shattered (I don’t take the case off very often) and the Cellaris guy said that is not in his repair comfort level so reviews may be delayed by me sucking it up to drop insane amounts of money on a new google phone. Damn it.

@Ceffyl_Dwr the pivo is a tracking software (plus rotating base for the phone) that uses your bluetooth, so in that regard, I think it has it over solo shot big time. It’s also much cheaper so if it doesn’t always work, you can be about 70% less ragey.

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Don’t know if you are on Facebook, but they have a user group where a lot of people are posting their experiences and getting input from each other. And the Pivo support actually checks in and comments occasionally to help people. I don’t know if there have been any people using it for driving yet.

Thanks! I was planning on checking out the 900dollar pony page based on feedback from the post on the dressage thread, I’ll add this one to the list

my son is professional video photographer, he has a done with “follow-me technology” set the distance away you want from the target and turn the puppy loose it will keep that distance. He showed me a while back as it set it to follow one of our horses–who paid no attention to the drone.

A common use is by motorcyclists so I would think if it could follower a motorcycle without hitting obstructions a horse and cart would be easy

(it has a come home feature also, returning it to launch point by GPS)

Anytime I can be less ragey while riding, it’s a win! I told myself I was going to cool it on the equine purchases, but I just convinced myself I need a Pivo in my life to feel complete. I’ll report back.

I bought one even though my horse is lame, so I say go for it.

I use mine for riding not driving, but I’ve really had great luck with the Pivo. That said, because of how the technology works, whether or not you have success depends greatly on your phone.

They have a facebook group that’s great for sharing experiences, troubleshooting and asking questions - Pivo Horse Riding Community. A couple people have posted pretty good driving videos in there so far.


I saw an advertisement for another very similar product today. It is called gimbOWL and costs even less, like $40. I is not advertised for horses like Pivo is but it uses the same technology. I think the main innovation is software. Software is easier to improve that hardware so we should see great improvement in this technology relatively soon. I am much more inclined to buy one now. I like Pivo.

I used it for the first time yesterday, it’s still a bit of a learning curve, and my first bit of learning is you can’t leave it on for about 25 minutes out in the hot sun while you hitch up and walk for 15 minutes before starting to use it in the deep south. Turns out it will run for about 1 minute and then the phone will go into overheat/shutoff mode (it’s a 2 year old pixel 3xl). Oh well… Tomorrow it’s back to riding for a few weeks, and I’ll be in an indoor so out of the sun may be a good idea for August in Georgia and probably not a bad idea to use it a few times while riding before driving since it is a lot easier to get off and adjust things while riding.

I have a Pixio - which I think is the first iteration of the PIVO. i find that getting it set up/down can be tedious - did I get all the parts charged correctly, is the camera working, did I remember to put the tracking beacons in the right order, did the wind blow the tracking beacon over, again… But you can use it in an indoor arena, whereas the soloshot does not work inside.

Once it’s working it’s great though, and I should use it more often. I use it both riding and driving. Am very curious about the PIVO though, b/c if it is less expensive and easier to use? Even better!

OK - I just looked at the PIVO site - WAYYYYY easier! And a lot less $$. Except the videos are all on your phone. Maybe I am a luddite but sometimes I want videos OFF my phone. Has that tech improved? Having the video camera with a chip that you can use wherever is probably old tech, right?

you just need a USB memory stick to download to the phone or a USB to USB cord to download to your PC, or if you aren’t comfortable finding the files to transfer, just add dropbox or google cloud/whatever it is called to your phone and you can send the file there from your phone and retrieve it from another device…

Also, if you have go pro, pivo can work with that as well (you still need the phone, but I assume that setup would have the video on the SD card in the go pro)

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I purchased a Pivo so I didn’t have to keep hounding my husband to video me, but it’s absolutely useless.

The Pivo team told me it would never work correctly like it does for riding horses because of how the cart obscures the “horse shape” that is detectable by their horse setting. Wish I had known that before I bought it!

Too much nonsense trying to set it up, drive away, and hope I’m in the frame of the video and that it follows me was way too distracting (and potentially dangerous) because I was so concerned about it actually working vs. the driving.

Husband will just have to suck it up :rofl: