Wireless camera mount offers pan and tilt functions

[Chris] put together a bunch of common components to create this wireless pan and tilt system for a security camera or a robot.

The motorized base is simple enough, using two servos to make up a mount for the digital camera. In this case he used a parts package which is designed to mount the servos perpendicular to each other. You could also 3D print, our build your own brackets quite easily. The control circuitry consists of a pair of PIC 18LF4520 microcontrollers and a set of Xbee modules. This is where the wireless connectivity comes in.

On the transmitter side, a pair of potentiometers are read by the microcontroller’s ADC and translated into position values. The receiver takes those values and drives the servo motors accordingly. In the clip after the break [Chris] is using micro trimpots which require a screw driver to adjust. You might want to hit the parts bin and see if you can get some that have a more user-friendly shaft or knob.

Unfortunately this system doesn’t transmit video. But WiFi webcams are getting quite affordable so that might be a good option in this case.

Comments

  1. Brian says:

    Wow, the firmware is bad, it translates the trimpots to 3bit values ​​so they can be sent in a single byte. That is probably why the camera moves in jerks.
    Use some more bytes for each transmission packet.

  2. Neil Cherry says:

    Teh solution to the Wifi problem may be a product called eye-fi. I think it’s a sd car with wifi built in.

  3. n0lkk says:

    These days Even with stuff a was familiar with I could look at code to find a problem. From the project into page one can read that the pan has a resolution of 45 degrees. Going from full head to full right, there if not a full stop, there may be a perceptible pause at one point. In the event there is any jerky movements between, 0-45-90 and so on, my eyes can’t detect it. Stating the obvious for an absolutely smooth pan,to follow that hot babe, or whatever, a different drive would be required. Given the field of view with most cameras,45 degrees should fulfill most needs. Place in an enclosure with larger pots turned with knobs, control will be better. Anyway another great project write up from Chris, thank you.

  4. Alexb78 says:

    Interesting project, building something similar myself but using stepper motors with reduction gearing.

  5. Jindivik says:

    Just go to most online RC shops that sell FPV gear, you can get full systems including pan/tilt camera mounts really cheap. Cameras and video/audio transmitters are the same, cheap for good quality units. Some even sell FPV goggles that have motion tracking that controls the pan/tilt mount wirelessly.

  6. cBaer says:

    I builded a similar project that uses an arduino + ethernet shield + ip-camera.

    http://youtu.be/rwFXZxGJetU

    The webserver runs completley on the arduino. Its maybe not that cheap, but it works with wifi.

  7. mili says:

    why crystal oscillator is not grounded via caps?

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