We’d call it a robot, but [Eric Buijs] calls it a dolly. [Eric] bought a Makeblock starter robot kit last year, but never did anything with it. He recently wanted a camera dolly to help shoot project videos and the Makeblock hardware fit the bill.
[Eric] found that one of Makeblock’s example videos showed off a camera dolly but had no construction details. He cracked open the kit and got to work replicating what he had seen. Two 6V motors combined with a reduction gear, a belt, and some wheels, and the dolly now moves under computer control!
Speaking of the computer, the Makeblock kit came with an Arduino-compatible board called a Baseshield. [Eric] didn’t like the telephone-style connector used to interface the board with the outside world, so he considered junking the Baseshield and using an Arduino Leonardo instead (but he hasn’t done that yet). The only thing left after the Makeblock motion base was to make a camera mount, which [Eric] fabricated with plywood.
There’s still work to do. The dolly drifts a little to the left and the lack of suspension sometimes makes the video unusable. However, we are confident version two will be even better.
Judging by the number of past projects we’ve seen on dolly’s this is something a lot of people want to build. It is interesting to see just how many different ways people approach the same problem. If you haven’t seen Makeblock, there is a video about the starter kit [Eric] used below.