View Full Version : Motion Control Camera Platform

11-23-2009, 06:11 PM
Looking for help building a cost effective motion control camera platform. Something like the picture below. (This system is expensive, has a record/playback memory which I don't need and large brain-box.) Watch the video here... http://www.innovision-optics.com/prod/minimover.shtml

Initially - A single axis slider with a turntable and a joystick to control each. (Weight up to 50 lbs)
Joystick would be responsive...the more you press the faster the table spins or slider moves.
A dial would control overall speed and response of the system.

Later - Would like to control motion with laptop with ability to program repeatable action.

Who would have parts to build this and/or assistance to build?


11-23-2009, 06:25 PM
What microcontrollers are you familiar with? You should probably start there... What programming languages do you know well? That can also help in microcontroller selection. That really needs to be the first place you start as it'll dictate the rest.

These things are expensive for a reason... But you can probably knock 20% off the price if you spend a couple hundred hours in programming and dialing them in. It'll never be as smooth as a manufactured item, but it'll work most of the time if you do well in both the mechanics and programming. Fifty pounds is a LOT of weight - which makes the components needed VERY expensive by comparison.

11-24-2009, 12:16 AM
What about an item like this using their integrated motors?


11-24-2009, 02:16 AM
We focus more on DIY robotics around here. A video/film production forum would probably be a better source of information on prebuilt systems like that.

11-24-2009, 04:33 PM
It really does depend on your skills in software, hardware and mechanics. With an Arduino and a PS3 controller, self contained hardware could be done at a tenth of the price of the contoller you show and meet/exceed your spec. I guess the same is true on the mechanics and servos. Just depends on how much time you take and the value you put on your time.

11-24-2009, 05:49 PM
Oh - I don't know about the "tenth" - what are you going to use to swing a 50lb camera around smoothly with sub-fraction precision, repeatability, and accuracy? Having been in video myself for a looong time, I can testify to how tough a job that is. I think you're grossly underestimating the req-spec

11-25-2009, 07:00 AM
Thanks to all for contributing.

I have found a solution using a Zaber controller and some 3rd party motion control linear tables and turntables.

11-25-2009, 07:43 AM
Funny...I was thinking that it looks a lot like a CNC router with a camera instead of a router...

Could you post the stuff you found, and possibly post the project when it is complete? I'd love to see it.


11-26-2009, 03:49 PM
Will do.

12-31-2009, 09:51 AM
As promised here is a video (zipped avi file) of the build. Pretty simple...but works well.
Like the Zaber concept. Controllers are built into motors. System works by using serial connection between motors and joystick controller or PC with serial port.
Zaber team was great to work with. Fast and efficient. Already used it for a national TV ad product shoot.

Next step is to write software for time-lapse speed control (very long slow moves) and figure out how to trigger Canon software for SLR shutter. Also motion-control repeatable moves and simple user interface for programming repeatable moves.

01-01-2010, 08:24 AM
You might want to check out the Zaber Motorized Camera Mirror Mounts/Tilt Stages from Servo2Go.com .

The link is below.