Having got to the point where I have engineered a multi-rotor flying camera mount that works to a very high level of stabilization (sub .05 deg.) I need to complete the puzzle with some help in designing some boards to compliment the APM system. Then the community at large can buy off the shelf, here at DIYDrones, the right components to do the job properly.

I am not an EE so I probably don't know what I am talking about but I do know the aerial camera mount business inside out. As I see it, the task is this. Camera mounts need to have a very different approach to that of stabilizing a multi-rotor copter. It is a lot simpler for a start. 300/500 deg/sec gyros typically output 2mv./ deg/sec but Invensense for example make gyros specifically for the job of stabilizing camera IS lenses and camera platforms the IDG 1150 for example is a 20 deg/sec. gyro that can output 50 mv/deg/sec. other gyros are available that have dual output that amplify the signal by a factor of 4, but as I see it this only amplifies the critical area which is at the very initial point of movement - noise. Sub .00? is normally only achievable with mil. spec. fiber optic gyros which are way beyond affordability in our case, but as Mems systems have come along in leaps and bounds recently. I believe we can do this to create top professional results at very little cost. Such high sensitivity modules would only work in a vibration free environment and this problem has been addressed and a complete solution is now available. Along the way a multi-rotor craft has been developed that not only is aerodynamically better than conventional designs but it uses materials that float on water and give better crash resistance and weight. Such a craft can be made using cheap materials that are freely available and can be fabricated with simple tools.

The 5/6 axis system explained. We all know that it is only possible to move a camera thro 3 axis of movement - pan, tilt and roll. the typical high end gyroball device uses the inner axis principle to fine tune the high accuracy movements.

Our model can create that outer axis and with a just little more work can be made to integrate perfectly with an inner axis system. The inner axis can be a simple 2 axis module device or a more complex 3 axis. The 2 axis module would be attached to the camera base plate and would have pwm in /out and utilize 2 axis acc. to reference gravity. The 3rd axis again a stand alone module would be in the Z axis (Pan) and integrate with the FC's mag.

Once this has been achieved we can step into the really exiting stage which is to create a total system where the operator simply fly's the camera and the copter follows the camera's desired track. it will use optic flow technology to look at the cameras LCD and augment stabilization and create an auto object tracker. WOW.


My prototypes are made using components such as heading lock gyros that have been modified to accept high sensitivity gyros but these are created as simple test bed components and need a lot of sorting out  before they could be used commercially.

I have only just started with APM so do excuse my ignorance if I made false assumptions at any time.

Most of my model development was done with a simple KK FC so as to create a reliable benchmark. I later moved onto the MK system which did not cut the mustard. It became known as the MK fireworks kit as ESC's and power distribution boards would burst into flames for no apparent reason and then there was the death roll gyro problem where hundreds of duff FC boards were sold to the unsuspecting masses. It would try to transit cumula granite resulting in the spectacular drop kick bang smash. They were the days! Onwards and upwards as they say. Interested anybody?

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  • Considering that the closest rival is the cineflex at 500.000 usd it is an amazingly cheap alternative, even considering that the two Silicon Sensing CR09 gyros used on the inner axis cost me around 1000 usd each.


    My quad-rotor Flying Camera Mount is based on the technology gained from this development.

  • The large aluminum flanges seen in the top picture are part of the clutch drive. you would not want to get a finger trapped anywhere with those powerful servos!!!
  • Aluminium sucks, it's far to heavy and does not produce the rigidity that a carbon skin filled with end grain balsa does.
  • Correct....The servos that I use are the Hitec magnetic encoder type3692182148?profile=original. all movements run in tight ballrace housings. My Carbon DR-7 five axis camera mount has produced some of the worlds best aerial imagery yet seen. Including the CGI material used to produce the stunning limassol marina development project. (CGI is a tough assignment.)  The backlash issue is controlled by using two servos that are timed at slightly different us. so as to create a very slight torque bias, seen here. This mount has flown in my very large heavy lift okto but it's main purpose is that of being a universal mount that can attach to any vehicle or person. Mass balanced throughout.3692182287?profile=original3692182035?profile=original3692182354?profile=original
  • one small bit of advice - systems are always only as good as the worst part in them, so before worrying about anything else i'd find some servo's with the precision your looking for and then build a slop free mount with the center of mass at the center of rotation.
  • The balanced beam principle was invented more that 40 years ago now by a Hollywood cameraman, Garrett Brown I've been using one of his for the last 30 years. It wont work in a multi-copter on it's own though, because it needs to be free from wind disturbances and it has to have a means to keep it tracking where you want it to point. It's main function is to stop sudden movements through the use of inertia.
  • I am highly interested in the multi-rotor flying camera mount that exactly what you're saying. Actually I just started designing it from couple of days. I'm very happy to see you
    I'm considering making mechanical steadicam on my own like bar type low cost hand held camcorder stabilizer in the market. How do you think about it?
    like this => http://www.adorama.com/BG585.html
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