Hillbilly Lego Focus Puller

There’s almost nothing you can’t build with the right set of Lego parts. [Rigjob] built up a Lego-based wireless remote follow-focus system that’ll give professional systems a run for their money.

Now [Rigjob] self-identifies as a hillbilly, but he’s not just a redneck with a camera. He’s set up the Lego controller to remember minimum and maximum focus positions as well as mark points along the way. The controller simply won’t turn the lens outside of the focus range, and an interactive graph shows you where you are within the range. For a focus wheel, he uses (drum-roll please!) a Lego off-road wheel. It looks really comfortable, usable, and actually quite professional.

There’s a lot of tech in the Lego controller and motors that make this “simple” hack simple. Under the hood, there’s a Bluetooth connection, a geared stepper motor with a position sensor, a communication protocol, and a whole ton of programming in the Lego controller that makes it all drag-and-drop programmable. But to a long-bearded hillbilly cameraman, it all looks like child’s play. And that’s the hallmark of good design. Kudos, Lego.

If you can’t get enough Lego camera tech, check out this DIY slit-scan stargate rig, or (what else?) a Lego 3D chocolate printer.

9 thoughts on “Hillbilly Lego Focus Puller

    1. Interesting point. We always hear how much tech. evolved from space program-related projects… I wonder how much we wouldn’t have if Lego hadn’t been invented or successful.

        1. Agreed. I had access to most of those while growing up, and it definitely fueled my mind. My career wasn’t engineering, but it might as well have been for all of the problem solving I did.

          I still have access to the Lego set, as I passed it on to my son who, at age 21, still uses it. :)

  1. I have always been fascinated by the Lego Mindstorms kits, but I just could not bring my self to justify the comparitively high cost compared to other options (Microcontrollers are not terribly expensive, and neither are motors, battery packs, etc.)

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