Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 17, 2007

Gyro Stabilized Camera

at 5:15 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

Chris Anderson was lucky enough to visit the Google campus and took some arial pictures with a digital camera mounted to an RC plane. To enhance the picture taking capability of the rig he decided to make a gyro stabilized system to mount the camera onto.

Video after the jump.

“The secret ingredient is an off-the-shelf “heading hold” gyro made for a R/C helicopter. These can be found for as little as $40, but after some experimentation I found that you need one that has special circuitry to resist gyro drift (there are several of them here, ranging from $74 to $199. I’m going to test several of them to find the cheapest one that works; right now I’m using one I had that doesn’t have drift cancellation and it won’t work for anything but benchtop tests)

For the tilting camera mount and base, you’ll need a sheet of relatively thin aluminum. I used a .032 X 6 X 12 sheet. Anything thicker won’t bend properly. I cut out several prototypes from cardboard before committing to metal (and still had to do the metal twice, when the first sheet proved to be too thick). I’ve made a pdf that you can print out and use as a template (when printing, set “page scaling” to “none” so it prints full-size). This one was designed for a Canon Digital Elph camera (all the recent vintages, from the 500 to 900 series, are about the same size); if you’re using a different camera you may need to modify some dimensions slightly to fit.”