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.
9 thoughts on “Camera Dolly Uses Makeblock”
Cool article, I hadn’t thought about using a Leonardo in place of the baseshield!
Also, not to nitpick, but, paragraph 3, line 4 spells it baeshield. Don’t turn this into Instagram.
Makeblock kits are awesome but not so cheap, I know that you get for what you pay but a really basic kit costs you a lot of money (even from chinese aliexpress, banggood, …)
Just buy things separately
Al, I appreciate your article however I have to rectify one thing. I did use the Baseshield that came with the Starters kit. I merely mentioned the possibility in my blog to exchange the Baseshield (a Leonardo clone) for a genuine Arduino.
Oops. I went and reread your post and I still thought you had used it until I looked at the picture. I’ll put a correction in the text a little bit later, but my bad. I was hoping you would have posted some video taken with the rig, shakes and all. Thanks!
When rereading my blog myself I agree with you that the text isn’t clear on this. I’ll rectify that. I’m working on a video but that takes a bit of time (and often even more than a bit). Hopefully I’ll upload it today.
I just added a video to the blog explaining and demonstrating the dolly.
Very nice article. Has anyone figured out how to get the bot to track to the movement of that which being filmed? Id like to chat with others who could help with this thought..
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