Homemade Steadycam Hexacopter


This is my project, I have been working on it for a couple of months. Is not ready yet and certainly it's not good looking, need more work but here is a video of some features.

Note this is a Steadycam design based on ECILOP ideas. But with a Multiwii board instead of gyros. Multiwii is fixed to the steadycam arm and acts as stab controller. I did a couple of changes in multiwii firmware to add a new mode "STEADYCAM" couse "GIMBAL" mode is just delta angle stab, and I need a PID loop stab + delta angle.

I use high speed servos and rubber bands as actuators couse direct drive is a mess.

The inner frame is connected to main frame by rubber band, so vibration cant pass trough to the FC and Steadycam system.

Here are the arms and main frame:



Fully assembled, note that no camera is attached bellow, instead a use a dead lipo battery as ballast and my bike back light which has a laser similar to a laser level.



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  • @ Alejandro: Beautiful realization. What are the engine mounts used ?

    @ R Lefebvre, I confirm this is the same problem for France. UPS and FEDEX are less efficient than the conventional post office.
    Ok to pay the tax because it is the law. But the fees should be included in price on the web site it was a very bad surprised..t.

    In addition,UPS and FEDEX can't deliver to your home in your absence and they haven't t office nearby (2 hours to get lost in paris retrieve a package of with 75 supplement over 200$ preview).

    An option "Air parcel with tracking" will be a "plus" commercial for 3DR.

  • Moderator

    Dany , you forgot to mention your superb customer service and fast shipping. (both confirmed several times!)

    I can buy clones but I prefer to support 3DR, there distributors and future developemnt even if it does cost me more.. I'm in this for the long term and customer service is a primary requirement. Will I get that from a clone .........NEVER. and lets be honest an autopilot system that costs less than 200$ is amazing, The 1000$ + Time  investment in the sky is not worth risking a clone.


  • Hum, I plan to buy an APM in near future but what you said R-lefebvre make me feel dizzy :D I think I will check on CanadaDrone.
  • Distributor

    Robert for your example in Canada you forgot to say that you can buy a legit 3DR APM from CanadaDrones.com and get it at a very good price!   :) 

    But back on topic, I would also like to see a camera point of view to see how stable it gets! 


  • Here in Brasil, the APM bought from 3DR costed me almost US$ 500 after fedex + taxes. 

  • This is all a good point.  Retailers in the US must realize that forcing your customers to use FedEx or UPS (UPS is the worst) is a massive impediment to your international sales.  I basically won't buy from a US dealer unless they can ship USPS.  

    Let's take two shipments.  Both are for $99, from the same location in the US to the same destination in Canada.  The USPS charge might cost $20.  When it arrives, since it was less than $100, the post office does not collect sales taxes in Canada.  So the total cost would be $119.

    With UPS, the charge might be $30 (though it arrives faster).  However, when they deliver, UPS will have to collect the 13% tax (I don't know why they can't ignore it the way the Post does).  So that's 12.87.  Then, UPS charges a "brokerage fee" which they claim is the cost of getting it through customs.  The service they are providing here is basically forwarding the paperwork provided by the shipper, to Canada Customs.  That's it.  They don't have to do anything else other than forward that paperwork.  Typically, this fee is $30 to $200.  It seems to be related the cost of the goods being brought in, and typically is ~50% of the cost of the goods, until you hit the $200 cap.  In my experience, on a $99 item, it's going to be about $40.  So the total cost to the customer is $181.87.

    Then you start to understand why non-US customers will choose to buy from a Cloner in China.  Even if the item cost the exact same $99, that would typically be including shipping.  They'd use post, so there are no additional fees.  That makes the US-sourced item 80% more expensive, and that's all in the shipping charges.  This, despite the fact that the item coming from China is travelling much further. 

  • Thats right Leonardo, I have awful experiences with Fedex, UPS and DHL. I prefer International Registered Air Mail/Parcel or EMS. I have to pay almost u$s100 taxes for a small FC multiwii of u$s40 when DHL came to my door. Of course you can say no, and walk a long way of paperwork, bureaucracy and waste of time to get that taxes reduced a little bit.

  • Another problem when buying 3DR APM, at least for us south americans is shipping and taxes... 3DR only ships by Fedex, which is expensive, always taxed and the taxes are higher than when shipped by regular postal services. If I buy a clone from china they will probably provide free shipping and for small packages most of the time its not taxed... the difference will be huge, probably 5x more expensive to buy from 3DR

  • Sorry, I mean, I can't help you about comparation between FC, all I have to say is that it works just fine.

  • Drone Savant, yes I do, I have to keep my costs low. Here in Argentina US Dollars gets more expensive everyday.
    I can help you about comparation between FC, all I have to say is that it works just fine.

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