Arduino Camera Motion Control

A beautifully done camera motion controller project:

Andreas Böhler and Anja Hartig, two fellow students and I, are currently working on ‘A Game of Choices’, an interactive claymation flash-game. We built different clay-sets, that the stop motion animated character will later walk through. In order to achieve a smooth walk-through experience, we photographed the 100 cm wide set in 200 highly precise steps. When it comes to precision photography, one can find dozens of systems available. However, professional systems are expensive and therefore out of reach for this project.

As I had recently begun playing with the open-source hardware-platform Arduino, I decided to take it a step further and build a single axis motion control myself. The basic configuration was quickly developed and assembled, however, it presented some severe issues. For example, the shafts were too weak to handle heavy lenses, as the platform would lean to one side. I had to reinforce the system with a second set of shafts that now allows it to handle up to 3 kg of mounted weight.

If you don’t have great knowledge about electronics, you might want to look into some basics or you’re most probably going to blow up some chips and LEDs – at least that’s what I did… After all, this project was fun and very interesting as it was my first step into the world of physical computing. The possibilities are exciting and I can’t wait to start my next Arduino project – right now, I’m just spoiled for choice.

No project details yet, though it’s still a nice proof-of-concept for this kind of thing.

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  1. Might be cheaper to 3d print. I think the PLA bushings used in repraps like the Prusa Mendel would be up to the job. Or3 just use this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14280

  2. @Ron: assuming one has access to a 3-D printer, that would be the case. 🙂

  3. @johngineer: Thanks for posting my project on adafruit, feedback’s always a good thing 🙂

    @Ron Thompson: You’re right! However, this was my very first attempt with Arduino and my first step into the world of mechanics… next time, I will definitely search for someone with a CNC machine – or 3d print the whole thing, good idea, too.

    Cheers, Freddy

  4. @Freddy — no prob, it’s a nice project! if you feel like sharing your source code or design files, put a link in the comments and I’ll update the post. 🙂

  5. @johngineer: sure, here’s the code: http://bit.ly/ypGLzu
    I don’t have any design files, I had some pencil drawings but that’s it. Design was done "on the fly" as the project evolved…

    @everybody: feel free to contact me if you have any questions concerning the code or the construction. 😉

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