Pole Climbing Device Runs Up Flags and Undies

Tubular Drive travels up and down poles

Driving a carriage up and down a cylindrical object isn’t the most popular activity but that is certainly no reason not to build such a device. Check out [Ryan's] creation that does just that, he calls it a Tubular Drive.

There isn’t much going on here, basically there are 4 wheels that grip a pipe. Two of those wheels have integrated gears and are driven by a DC motor. The remaining two wheels are idlers. When power is applied to the motor, two of the wheels spin, which then moves the entire assembly down the pole. A quick reversal in polarity brings the unit back the other way.

With those 3D printed plastic wheels you may think that traction would be an issue but [Ryan] insists that it is not a problem. The ABS wheels were treated with an acetone bath to smooth out the print layers and the distance between the wheels can be adjusted using a couple of bolts. Together that allows enough surface contact and pressure to ensure slip-free traveling.

Although the wheels were made to grip 1/2″ electrical conduit, it would be very easy to adapt this design to fit around and climb up all sorts of cylindrical objects, maybe even rope! Perhaps v-wheels with a spring tensioner system would allow for traveling on different size tubes while also adjusting for any variation in the diameter of a single tube.

[Ryan] says version two will have a linear encoder and be driven by a stepper motor. Check out the video after the break…

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Making an overhead camera gantry, take 2

Last week we saw [Todd]‘s solution to getting a tripod out-of-the-way when filming a few DIY videos. It’s an overhead camera gantry that allows him to move a camera around his garage workshop without a tripod getting in the way. This weekend, he’s back with a new and improved version. It’s a vast improvement over his Mk 1 gantry system, and it much simpler to build, to boot.

[Todd]‘s new and improved overhead camera gantry builds is a vast improvement on his previous build. In the original build, [Todd] used only one cross piece between the overhead garage door tracks, and the carriage suspending the tripod overhead was extremely clunky.

Version 2 of [Todd]‘s camera gantry again makes use of unused garage door tracks to suspend a tripod above his workshop. This time, though, he’s using two rails between these garage door tracks making pushing the tripod around his workshop much easier – even when not pushing it from the middle.

To move the camera across the workspace, [Todd] did away with the square tube between the garage door tracks and used another set of garage door tracks. It’s a beautiful system that moves very, very smoothly between his workbench and welding station, perfect for making a few high-quality DIY videos.

You can check out [Todd]‘s build video after the break.

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Camera gantry rides on garage door tracks

For as many garage and workshop videos we feature here on Hackaday, we’re surprised we haven’t seen this sooner.

[Todd] makes a bunch of videos in his garage shop, but using a tripod is a pain; he’s always tripping over his camera setup and it is just generally in the way all the time. His solution was to mount his camera to an overhead gantry, using the unused tracks for his garage door to move the camera around his workshop.

The build started with [Todd] taking his tripod and fabbing a mounting plate for it to be suspended in mid-air. This would leave the camera upside-down, so [Todd] also made a 90 degree bracket with a 1/4-20 bolt to hold the camera in position.

The actual gantry part of the build is fairly clever. First, [Todd] got a piece of square tubing the same length as the distance between his two garage door tracks. He made a truck that rides on six casters for this tube, then mounted this tube on garage door wheels.

The result allow [Todd] to move his camera anywhere within the footprint of his garage door tracks, including over his workbench and welding area. An ingeniously useful build that’s sure to provide a stable platform for his vlog-type thingies.

Vidia after the break.

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