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Servo Based Camera Stabilization
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Servo Based Camera Stabilization

by botag on Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:28 am

I'm currently putting together a High Altitude Photography Platform...a fancy way of saying "balloon project". While watching numerous video posting of Near Space footage I was struck by how much the BalloonSat swayed with the winds...That brings me to my proposed project....I have a two axis camera mount which id controlled by normal hobby servos (pan left and right, tilt up and down). I was wondering if someone could help me with code and wiring diagrams for an arduino/accelerometer based stabilization system...not looking to get rock solid....just take a little twisting and rocking out of my video and still there anyone who might have built something like this before??? I'm not too quick with code...but my mechanical/soldering/building skills are quite good....Any leads would be great!!!!

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Re: Servo Based Camera Stabilization

by Ran Talbott on Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:57 am

I don't have the background you need, but I think you might find some ideas among the people doing UAVs. I'm sure they've tackled problems of using accelerometers to stabilize things.

Is that pan-tilt one you built yourself, or did you find it off-the-shelf? I've done some Netburner-based fixed camera systems for a client using "full-sized" pan-tilts that are too expensive for my hobby budget, but I'm interested in doing some tinkering of my own.

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Re: Servo Based Camera Stabilization

by Amberwolf on Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:03 am

Before going electronic, have you tried mechanical stabilization? If it's primarily rocking, a pendulum-effect stabilizer would probably correct most of that. If it's twisting, you could use something similar horizontally.

It should be simple to setup, but will require some physical space for the longish "pendulum" rods that the camera will pivot along, the bearing in the center (between the camera and the pendulum rods).

Imagine a jack, like the kid's toy commonly used with marbles or a bouncing ball, with five long axes going down and to the sides, and the top one short, with the camera at that point, pointed downward at an angle between two of the long side axes. You may be able to use only two side axes, instead of four; these provide the mass for the anti-twisting. The bottom one provides the mass for the anti-rocking (as do the others). The bearing point in the center is where the whole thing mounts to the rest of the balloon's payload basket (or pod), so that it can freely pivot and swing from that, while the basket/pod dangles in the wind.

If you could do it with a disc, you could spin it, like a gyro, and probably make it a lot smaller (especially if you could do it at high speed), but that would be more complex than the jack-style pendulum.

It may not get you enough stabilization, but there's no coding involved. :)
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