It’s nice to fly around with your copter or plane, watching the surrounding area with a live view. Anyone who tried FPV knows that feeling. There is much to see with the regular equipment, but if you want to see some detail from a higher altitude, there is a problem. Normally it’s good to have a wide angle camera, to see the surrounding space. But what if you want to watch a particular spot, like your house, or something interesting happening few miles away in detail, without making a lot of flying with your drone? 

We found very little neat solutions for that, that’s why me and my buddy Jacob are working on a low cost project of a FPV gimbal for zoom camera.  
This is an early 3D printed prototype of a simple to use FPV zoom gimbal. It is designed to get along perfectly with almost any coper or plane.

If you want to zoom on something while flying it’d better be stabilised, thats why 3 axis gimbal is put to work. The body is designed to work with most of FPV zoom cameras, analog or HD. As a controller we are using AlexMos, slim version to cut the mass. All of the cables are hidden inside of the body which makes it really nice and handy.

The whole gimbal with camera weighs 305g, we think thats really nice result.
For now we are making some iterations to reach optimal body design, but later we’re going to test things like object tracking with Raspberry pi and OpenCV, and a HD Light Bridge transmission. 
What are your opinions on this? Do you think it would be useful for your FPV needs? 
If you’re interested in this project write a comment or send me a private message on DIYD, we’d love to hear some feedback!

Soon we should have some footage from an actual flight! 

Views: 17813

Comment by Mark Prince on January 7, 2015 at 7:45pm

I think it's major cool. If you can get good quality zoom at 300 grams. My Go Pro with Tarot gimbal is 280 grams. I have looked long and hard but to get a good quality zoom video camera in the air requires 650 and above multi copters with big expensive batteries. I could haul this with my Iris+. 

Can you provide more details about the camera like resolution, fov etc.?


Comment by Nicholas Witham on January 8, 2015 at 1:49am
How does it stay balanced when zooming?
Comment by Paul Hammond on January 8, 2015 at 1:52am

Looks like a great idea, Raspberry Pi object tracking sounds very interesting

Comment by Paul Hammond on January 8, 2015 at 1:53am

Also Raspberry Pi can stream HD video using gstreamer over 3G/4G/WIFI, no need to spend £1k on lightbridge.

Would this be an open source project?

Comment by Jim G on January 8, 2015 at 3:37am

Interesting to say the least.

Comment by Waladi on January 8, 2015 at 4:46am
Really amaze with more turret gimbal project recently.
Can I ask why dont you design it more circular shape for better aerodynamic in the windy condition?
Any chance the STL file will be open for public to print by their own 3D printer?
Comment by palo sestak on January 8, 2015 at 6:16am

This thing really impressed me. What is the camera on the top image? I would buy one unconditional if FM36X700 camera (eg, from Flytron) fits in there.

Comment by Greg Dronsky on January 8, 2015 at 7:38am

@palo FM36X700 should fit just fine. We choosed this camera because of the price (66$ vs 282Euro) and Sony CCD. The quality is comparable FM36X700.

Also the zoom is controlled through standard rc channel. 

Comment by Andrew P. on January 8, 2015 at 8:31am

What motors do you use for this camera gimbal? 

Comment by Dan Murray on January 8, 2015 at 9:46am

Wow, I am going to follow this very closely. Any chance of using an IP module rather than an analog one? Would be really great.

Would also like to see the ability to geo-locate where the camera is pointed. As long as the IMU is calibrated, I would think this could be done pretty easily using azimuth/elevation coupled with the current GPS position? Then you could do a geo-hold as the UAV moved around.


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