Four-axis camera mount rides on a wire

Here’s [Badwolf's] team posing with their college project. It’s a 4-axis gimbal mount for a camera that they designed in CAD, cut parts using a laser, then milled them down to specifications. In the picture above there is a tiny point-and-shoot camera mounted inside the suspended ring but the rig’s strong enough to support cameras of any size.

That mounting ring can rotate like the hands of a clock, but it also pivots on a horizontal axis. The bracket that holds the ring can rotate on a vertical axis, and the entire assembly moves along the wire supporting it. After the break you can see some test footage that shows the rig being operated via a handheld radio controller.

This setup let’s the camera travel as far as the cable can reach. But if you want something that lets you take photographs of very tall objects you’ll need to use a different setup.

Comments

  1. ColinB says:

    “let’s” means “let us”. “lets” means allows!!

    http://www.youryoure.com/

  2. BadWolf says:

    Hurray.

  3. BadWolf says:

    Massive camera mayhem at 4:10

  4. rasz says:

    looks like the thingie they use to film Ski Jumping

  5. bty says:

    Probably still needs a gyro to compensate for tilt jitter when moving along the cable.

  6. strider_mt2k says:

    When you care more about the grammar than the hack maybe you’re hanging out in the wrong place.

    Fantastic work folks!
    Looks great!

  7. paul says:

    @strider_mt2k
    Exactly

    @BadWolf
    Does there happened to be a 555 timer in there???????

  8. BadWolf says:

    @paul
    nah sorry,didn’t even knew they existed at that time =P

    I could redo the control box using some for pulsing the sertvo,would give me a good entrie for the contest ;p

  9. Whatmough says:

    This is sic!

    They should mount that shotgun in it.

  10. brian says:

    whisper quiet, too

  11. just me says:

    its something noisy? I would not use this for my vidoes…

  12. BadWolf says:

    @Mitch

    I started this build using 2 arduino mega and matching xbees but ran into a load of bugs and so we moved onto a JC remote.

  13. @BadWolf – wish I could have helped you on your code back then… I had too much going on at the time. A custom RC interface would be sweet for a camera operator… programmable pan/tilt/zoom fading and all that. The local motor controller could handle a lot of the commands and dynamically adjust everything as necessary. I’ve seen these rigs controlled by motors at the ends of the cable as well, to help free up the loading on the rig… some of the cameras can weight quite a bit by themselves (adding a motor and battery really loads it down for those high speed shots)

  14. tracipenner says:

    @”just me” Usually the arial line cameras don’t have sound anyways.

    I didn’t see any “rotate like the face of a clock” motions in the video. Was that part not working yet when the video was taken?

  15. BadWolf says:

    @tracipenner

    The motor mount was being milled while we shot the video so this axis was professionally duct-taped to avoid any wrong movements.

    I’ll have new pics and new footage with the big camera in in a couple of week,check our site for the updates.

  16. bob says:

    ACCENT QUÉBECOIS!

    Or something, Yay :D

  17. Grovenstien says:

    arrgghh will you guys quit posting stuff!!! I just end up wanting to build everything shown on this site!

  18. strider_mt2k says:

    @ Grovenstien: I don’t think you’re alone on that.

    I don’t even have a need for this and I would like to build one.

  19. BadWolf says:

    @bob
    We’re from quebec. ;p

    @Grovenstien & Strider_mt2k
    I gotta warn you…this thing is a time-consuming monster. I’m still improving it for the company now as we speak.But it’s fun to remotly control 75k$ worth of equipment haha :P

  20. Very nice! I built a simpler but similar setup to shoot video of bands for the live visuals I was doing. I used some of the Vex rc/robotic pieces and some light aluminum angle bar along with a couple servos. In my case, the robot was hanging from two pulley wheels and was only tilt and pan. Worked well for it’s intended purpose, and I got some nice shots. You definitely need gyros (or slow movement) to get stable moves. I had the luxury of being able to fade the video to a different image while I switched shots. Was very fun to play with.

  21. I’m curious, how does the control signal get sent to the servos after each axis of motion? Was some sort of connector/contact that could rotate made? Or did you find some off the shelf part? I’ve wanted to create more complex pan/tilt setups, but could never figure out what to do to be able to control the next servos.

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