Robotic Bluetooth Camera Mount and Remote

From Dallas Makerspace
Jump to: navigation, search


  • Motorized Pan/Tilt Camera Mount
  • Automate the creation of panoramas using the motorized mount
  • Bluetooth control from a Smartphone
  • A Multipurpose electronic controller allowing for time lapses, long exposures, repeated panorama shooting, and other possibilities
  • Allow for control and automation of other Pan/Tilt servo controlled heads
  • Possibly sell the product as a kit


  • Mikel Duke (project leader)



Revision 1

  • Laser Cut 1/4" MDF
  • 3" Lazy Susan Bearings
  • Nut and Bolt Assembly
  • Clearance issues during assembly
  • Vertical and Horizontal rails for Parallax Correction
  • Metric Ruler Slide rails to mark spacing

Revision 2

  • Added hinges to enable the mount to fold to a smaller size for transport
  • Adjusted placement of parts for better fit
  • Widened Adjustment rails for stability
  • Removed need for spacer boards allowing for less parts to be cut
  • Added holes for battery mount

Revision 3

  • Added access holes to Lazy Susan bearings for easier assembly
  • Adjusted size of the mounting plates to help hold the servo gears in place
  • Added radial guides on moving parts
  • Changed servo placement for better cable routing, no more coming unplugged when rotating

Revision 4

  • New Full build of the mount
  • Redesigned to use larger servos from Servo City
  • Gear ratio adjusted to account for the limited 3.5x rotation rather than continuous
  • Larger overall
  • Looser fit on to the servos
  • Laser Cutter was out of focus and dirty, so the lines were not as clean as they should be and gears may need to be recut


Update 1

After testing the GY-85 IMU for orientation, it does not seem to be reliable or precise enough for this project. After researching a switch to stepper motors, the power requirements seem a little to high for the portability that is needed.

After more research and consideration, a pair of more powerful servos with a 1080 degree range has been purchased. Due to the extra power and range, continuous rotation should not be necessary. The camera mount gears will need to be re-sized to get the correct amount of rotation range given the limits of the new servos. Price-wise, it seems to be on par with changing to steppers if only slightly more, given the cost of 2 steppers, drivers, and bigger batteries.

Next Steps

  • Improve the orientation system
  • Create PCB design for controller board
  • Create housings for the electronics
  • Define kit contents, instructions, SKU
  • Develop support website
  • Improve Bluetooth App



Builds 1-3

The mount is currently built out of laser cut 1/4" MDF. Acrylic is a possibility for future builds once the design is finalized, it will not be used for prototyping due to the higher price.

The electronics consist of 2 servos controlled by an Arduino Nano with a Serial Bluetooth interface. Orientation is currently done using a GY-85 IMU commonly used on quad copters.

Camera triggering is done with two 2n2222 transistors connected to a 2.5mm stereo audio cable to a Digital SLR's remote port.

Build 4

The original continuous rotation servos have been replaced with a pair of HS-785HB 3.5x rotation 183oz-in servos.


Similar Products