Robot Mounted GoPro on a Pan/Tilt Fixture

robot mounted GoPro FPVWhen I’m not busy with family, my job, working out, or this website, I also like to build robots.*  OK, technically this would be considered more of a remote-control mechanism, or even a prop, but “robot” sounds better.  It was recently on display** as shown above, literally hanging 15 feet in the air, and beaming “robot mounted GoPro” video to a projector in front of it.

As for the camera part, the “robot’s” two legs are controlled by two channels from a standard hobby RC unit.  The controller that I was using had four channels, and I happened to have a pan/tilt fixture from Servocity already assembled on my shelf.  Since at that point it was just a matter of plugging it in, I decided to add a pan/tilt capable GoPro camera to my robot.

For installation, I drilled out the pan/tilt fixture’s base to accept the 8-32 screws that I had available, and the GoPro was easy to attach with a 1/4-20 screw using the GoPro tripod adapter.  Interestingly, since my robot-thing was hanging from the ceiling, if it was tilted enough, it would cause the “MountainBeest,” as I call it, to swing back and forth.

It was definitely a fun time, but as cool as I thought it would be to have it hanging above everyone, apparently people don’t look up that often.  Either way, you can find more info on this contraption in the videos below. Continue reading

Makeshift Tripod from Chairs for a Paning Time-Lapse

makeshift-tripod-chairs-panning-time-lapseOn a recent trip to beautiful Clearwater, Florida, I thought it would be great to take a panning time-lapse shot from our hotel balcony.  Although it’s possible that it would have stayed on the railing without falling off (especially given my setup’s magnetic base), but I instead decided to stack chairs and a table for a “makeshift tripod.”

As you can see, it’s still probably not the most stable situation.  An actual tripod, or even just using the railing with a safety tether like this one, or simply a string, would have probably been better.  Either way, I got the shots that I wanted, and you can see the results below. Continue reading

3D Printed Camera Slider Mount

Noe wrote in with this excellent partially 3D printed camera slider from Adafruit.  The “feet” and the adapter that attach the tripod to the bearing platform are 3D printed (get the files here) while the slide rail, bearing platform, and some various nuts and screws are purchased.

The results are quite smooth, as seen in the video after the “read more” link thing. Continue reading