Rough draft- Clear view, roll/tilt, waterproof GoPro gimbal

I've had this idea in my head for some time now, finally got serious about sketching it out.

Yes, I know that all the props are pushers ; ) I couldn't find the tractors and wanted to get some pics up anyway. First flights will all be with gemfan carbon plastics, but I'm stoked to use these wooden props once everything is verified to function in flight. She looks a little fat in the rear I admit, but that is 5.6 Ah 4s in a hard case. All up weight is 2.71kg.

Spindly landing gear fills in for top-secret next gen gear that can't be shown yet. This configuration has some Klingon Bird of Prey in it, that's obvious.

The goal for this project is a clear view, roll/tilt gimbal that utilizes the waterproof GoPro housing and is positioned coplanar with the motor mounts. 

I'm using a pull/pull set up for both axes. It works well, but a little more dialing in will be needed. I'll get a video up tomorrow after I clean my shop. 

Tilt control and video out are fed down the central rotating axle. This axle and gopro housing are the only moving parts, both riding on nylon bushings. Tilt pivot is vibration isolated from airframe. "Manually printed"- pivot sockets, control horns, and video out connector are attached to waterproof gp housing.

Stiffen and lighten this yoke, increase the diameter of the axle, print some proper gopro attachments (Rostock-Kossel in the works!!) The camera housing is easily opened without removing from the yoke.

Belly up view. Remember, this is just a rough draft, plenty of little changes to make for MkII, starting with a completely different frame. I'm done with the hub and spoke form. Multi-copters are basically just a packaging exercise, and I keep wishing for a different shape while trying to integrate all these sweet-ass robot parts. The next frame will be a folding Roman five, a "V" with horizontal bars top and bottom.

I can remove a lot of weight from this of course, the motor mounts, arms, wiring, etc. I like to make things heavy and adjustable at first, then begin to lighten and lock down everything.

The important part is the parallel rails and the gimbal arrangement, that's what i want to develop a bit more. The roll axis motivation could come from any number of sources, I've used pull/pull for it so the servos could be grouped and positioned optimally for weight balancing. 


Views: 10143

Comment by Joshua Ott on December 31, 2012 at 3:44pm

Comment by Gary McCray on December 31, 2012 at 6:55pm

Some really great concepts in this design.

Much cleaner and simpler than most GoPro or other camera mounts.

I really like the idea of making one of the GoPro Housings the pitch / tilt mount itself.

And the centrally located roll mount.

My biggest concern would be hanging the camera so far out in front and the balance issue that would result.

I take it those support tubes are lighter than they look.

In any case, truly great design.

I will definitely be using the direct housing mount myself and possibly some of your other  concepts as well.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Comment by Joshua Ott on December 31, 2012 at 7:04pm

Thanks Gary, 

I've got everything perfectly balanced with the placement of the big motor battery and servos at the other end. Everything can move around to fine tune. The arms are just 16mm pultruded carbon, very light. I'm trying to upload a video of it in action right now, it looks very life like in motion, stay tuned.

Comment by Joshua Ott on December 31, 2012 at 11:13pm

Here's a hasty video-

As you can see, still some fine tuning, but the mechanics are sound.

APM rocks, btw!

Comment by Joshua Ott on December 31, 2012 at 11:24pm

Camera comes out without a fuss.

Comment by Joshua Ott on January 1, 2013 at 2:09pm

Just realized I had the wrong privacy setting on that video I posted above, fixed now.

Comment by Joshua Ott on January 1, 2013 at 10:55pm

I also forgot to mention that have only spent about $75 making this gimbal, including the two $16 Hitec servos!

Comment by Joshua Ott on January 3, 2013 at 8:59pm

Here's a nice shot of it's beautiful purple brains

With the hood popped

Comment by Joshua Ott on January 11, 2013 at 2:00pm

Here's some footage of the first test flight. Mostly a bust due to a small oversight on my part, I left a loose component on part of the gimbal assembly after doing some adjustments late the night before : /

I also tested a head cam rig with one of my old GoPros, this ends up being the main point of the video. I wanted to go through the process of capturing and compiling a test without the benefit of a camera operator on the ground. Sorry for the small amount of actual flight video.

The gimbal is working pretty well. Fast transitions really highlight the small amount of slop in the roll, should be easy to remedy however.

The quad is flying well, always room for more tuning, and I definitely need to get the real landing gear on her soon!

Comment by Joshua Ott on January 11, 2013 at 3:56pm

Thanks Mate!

I don't want 90 degrees either!

Let's meet in the middle, say 68?

: )


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