Robot On Rails For Time Lapse Photography

What do you get when you cross a photographer with an Arduino hacker? If the cross in question is [nukevoid], you wind up with a clever camera rail that can smoothly move with both shift and rotation capability. The impressive build uses an Arduino Pro Mini board and two stepper motors. One stepper moves the device on rails using some Delrin pulleys as wheels that roll on an extruded aluminum track. The other stepper rotates the camera platform.

The rotating platform is very cool. It’s a plastic disk with a GT2 motion belt affixed to the edge. The stepper motor has a matching pulley and can rotate the platform easily. The GT2 belt only goes around half of the disk, and presumably the software knows when to stop on either edge based on step counts. There’s even a support to steady the camera’s lens when in operation.

Some AA batteries provide power (so probably not going to run all day long without a battery change). Judging by the video, the whole set up is cat-resistant (although nothing is totally cat-proof). Photographers are an innovative bunch, and we’ve seen Android-powered rails before as well as spinning turntables.

12 thoughts on “Robot On Rails For Time Lapse Photography

  1. Good luck resisting cats. As with anything else you happen to be interested in, they will inevitably decide that is the most comfortable spot in the house to sit. 55555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555bjchjgggggg…………..

    1. Couldn’t help but have a good chuckle at your comment as our cat would do the same thing (or animals in minecraft ha). I do like the build and the idea of a mini version that doesn’t require a three person team to setup and teardown is great. It would also be especially useful for test shots for scenes and figuring out lighting changes on the fly. Neat idea and build and once you make it cat proof (lol), it will be perfect :)

    2. My wife has this problem. She won’t do it, but I find putting a YouTube video of a squalling cat on is usually sufficient to make her (the cat) either leave or at least focus on the speaker.

      1. You’re all over-thinking this…

        It’s actually just an aluminium sliding door track for a wardrobe door and the wheels are just spares available from your local hardware store – these are then attached to a straight piece of 90mm x 45mm timber

        The drive is similar to the shapeoko with a GT2 timing belt attached at each end of the timber – the wheels don’t actually drive the thing at all…

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