Introduction: Gyro Camera for Motorcycle

Picture of Gyro Camera for Motorcycle

As seen in MotoGP Race, the rider is seen riding through corners while laying aside his bike to the left and right. But there is an interesting moment when the motor looks to collapse sideward, the front views remain horizontally. How could that be?
Such onboard camera applies GYRO system, where the camera will be fixed perpendicular to the gravity of the earth.



We could build our own Gyro Camera by using GYRO and ACCELEROMETER modules.
They are two separate modules, hence we have to use two modules simultaneously. Then we make Gyro Chip and Accelerometer Chip in one module (there are two chips in one module). In latest version they are made in one chip only, thus minimizing the distortion of movement calculation

In this article, the module is Triple Axis Accelerometer & Gyro Breakout – MPU-6050, which has 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer in one chip, supplied by power of 3.3volt.

In addition to module MPU6050, the following similar modules could also be applied:
• IMU Fusion Board – ADXL345 & IMU3000
• IMU Digital Combo Board – 6 Degrees of Freedom ITG3200/ADXL345

Module MPU6050 with its tiny size of 20mm x 15mm and height of 1.6mm.

The components are:
• Triple Axis Accelerometer & Gyro Breakout – MPU-6050
• Arduino UNO R3
• Digital Servo (use good and powerful servo)
• Breadboard Mini
• 9v Battery + Switch
• Box and other accessories.

If you using different board than Arduino Uno R3, SCL and SDA pins of MPU are also different:

VDD : +3.3V
VIO : +3.3V
SDA : Pin A4 (Arduino Uno, Ethernet) / Pin 20 (Mega2560, Due) / Pin 2 (Leonardo)
SCL : Pin A5 (Arduino Uno, Ethernet) / Pin 21 (Mega2560, Due) / Pin 3 (Leonardo)



After having completely assembled, it is time now to upload the program to Arduino.

This circuit is only to drive servo in axis-X only. However, data from Axis Y and Z are still required for the respective Gyroscope and Accelerometer. I tried to combine them by applying Kalman Filter calculation so as to reduce ‘noise’ output from Gyroscope + Accelerometer so that servo movement is smooth and no unwanted movement.



  Demonstrates auto-leveling Camera Video by using Gyro & Accelerometer with Arduino

  The circuit:
  Servo controlled by Arduino, using Gyro and Accelerometer as reference of movement.

  Created March 12, 2013
  by Firmansyah Saftari

  This code and complete article can be found at:
  Programming Language: C++

#include <Servo.h>
Servo xservo;

#include <Wire.h>
#include "Kalman.h"
Kalman kalmanX;
Kalman kalmanY;

uint8_t IMUAddress = 0x68; // MPU6050 Address

/* IMU Data */
int16_t accX;
int16_t accY;
int16_t accZ;
int16_t tempRaw;
int16_t gyroX;
int16_t gyroY;
int16_t gyroZ;

int moveX;
int mapX;
int correctionX;

double accXangle;
double accYangle;
double gyroXangle = 9;      
double gyroYangle = 180;
double compAngleX = 90;    
double compAngleY = 90;
double kalAngleX;
double kalAngleY;
uint32_t timer;

// ----------  VOID SETUP START -------------- /
void setup() { 
  i2cWrite(0x6B,0x00);           // Disable sleep mode 
  if(i2cRead(0x75,1)[0] != 0x68) {   // Read "WHO_AM_I" register
    Serial.print(F("MPU-6050 with address 0x"));
    Serial.println(F(" is not connected"));
  kalmanX.setAngle(90);  // Set starting angle
  timer = micros();

// ----------  VOID SETUP END -------------- /

// ---------------------- VOID LOOP START -------------- /
void loop() {
  /* Update all the values */
  uint8_t* data = i2cRead(0x3B,14); 
  accX = ((data[0] << 8) | data[1]);
  accY = ((data[2] << 8) | data[3]);
  accZ = ((data[4] << 8) | data[5]); 
  tempRaw = ((data[6] << 8) | data[7]); 
  gyroX = ((data[8] << 8) | data[9]);
  gyroY = ((data[10] << 8) | data[11]);
  gyroZ = ((data[12] << 8) | data[13]);
  /* Calculate the angls based on the different sensors and algorithm */
  accYangle = (atan2(accX,accZ)+PI)*RAD_TO_DEG;  
  accXangle = (atan2(accY,accZ)+PI)*RAD_TO_DEG;  
  double gyroXrate = (double)gyroX/131.0;
  double gyroYrate = -((double)gyroY/131.0); 
  gyroXangle += gyroXrate*((double)(micros()-timer)/1000000); // Calculate gyro angle without any filter 

  gyroXangle += kalmanX.getRate()*((double)(micros()-timer)/1000000); // Calculate gyro angle using the unbiased rate
  compAngleX = (0.93*(compAngleX+(gyroXrate*(double)(micros()-timer)/1000000)))+(0.07*accXangle); // Calculate the angle using a Complimentary filter
  kalAngleX = kalmanX.getAngle(accXangle, gyroXrate, (double)(micros()-timer)/1000000); // Calculate the angle using a Kalman filter
  timer = micros();
  mapX = map(kalAngleX, 0, 200, 0, 179);     //calculate limitation of servo mechanical
// /////////////////////////////


// ////////////////////////////

  moveX = 270 - (kalAngleX) + correctionX;
// ------- SEND TO SERIAL PRINT START ----- /

  Serial.print(" X Pos: ");
// ------- SEND TO SERIAL PRINT END ----- / 

// ------- SEND TO SERVO START ----- /

   xservo.write(moveX);   // Send signal to servo
   delay(15);     // delay to allow servos to move (ms) 
// ------- SEND TO SERVO END ----- /

  delay(1); // The accelerometer's maximum samples rate is 1kHz
// ---------------------- VOID LOOP END -------------- /

void i2cWrite(uint8_t registerAddress, uint8_t data){
  Wire.endTransmission();                       // Send stop

uint8_t* i2cRead(uint8_t registerAddress, uint8_t nbytes) {
  uint8_t data[nbytes]; 
  Wire.endTransmission(false); // Don't release the bus
  Wire.requestFrom(IMUAddress, nbytes);   // Send a repeated start and then release the bus after reading
  for(uint8_t i = 0; i < nbytes; i++)
    data[i] =;
  return data;


// END

Step 3: Build the Camera Bracket

Picture of Build the Camera Bracket
I use 2 mm Acrylic 2mm, bent by heating. Make the necessary holes for servo installation and for the camera bolt.

Camera bolt was taken from an unused small tripod so as to ease the camera installation.

Arduino Board is installed onto the box plate.

Arduino, Servo and MPU6050 have been installed on the box.

Video of Servo testing on box

Video on the testing of installed camera



Picture of TIME TO TRY
Camera is placed on motorcycle.

Let’s ride to try …

Lessons Learned:
• Gyro + accelerometer modules should be installed firmly.
• Calibration of horizontal level should be on flat area
• Use powerful servo.
• Use heavy duty battery so hat power to servo is well supplied.

Good luck.


Translated by Taufik Masjhur

This post was originally published on in Bahasa Indonesia language.


derekthorvg (author)2016-02-05

Eventually after months of research on bike stabilizers I bought one Wenpod X1.... quite cheap, compact and decent:

ai4px (author)2015-08-04

Can I ask why you put the gyro sensor on the rigid part of the mount and not on the camera part? Instead of measuring the angle of lean, you could just control the motor until the camera was level. Open vs Closed feedback loops. I guess in the end, it all works though. I saw one of these gyro cameras on a bike running the Nuremberg track and it was very cool to see. Love the project!

AnthonyB13 (author)2015-04-26

Could you use one of these instead to reduce size?

dee.vazquez.33 (author)2015-04-02

Hey! could I have a ADXL345..but it doesn`t have SDA and SCL pins..only x, y, z pins. Is there a way I can adapt your code for my board?

Thanx for the instructable

Sorry..I was in a hurry. I mean I HAVE a ADXL335 like this:

Can I use this one?

Thanks again

khangbk99 (author)2015-04-01

@saftari : Could you give me the reference of the servo motors used in this project, please? Many thanks

derekthorvg (author)2015-03-09

Has anyone used any gyroscopic mount (gyro-cam) that works? I'm looking forward to have one for my tracking days!

I have hard this London company is making one GoPro gyro-mount, due to be released before the summer.

Has anyone heard of them?


StraydogEOD (author)2013-12-22

First of all, thanks for the awesome write up. I'm trying to compile this code in a sketch and I get the following errors:

sketch_dec22a.ino:25:20: error: Kalman.h: No such file or directory
sketch_dec22a:26: error: 'Kalman' does not name a type
sketch_dec22a:27: error: 'Kalman' does not name a type
sketch_dec22a.ino: In function 'void setup()':
sketch_dec22a:71: error: 'kalmanX' was not declared in this scope
sketch_dec22a:72: error: 'kalmanY' was not declared in this scope
sketch_dec22a.ino: In function 'void loop()':
sketch_dec22a:99: error: 'kalmanX' was not declared in this scope

Do you happen to have any guidance on how to fix them? Thanks!

saftari (author)StraydogEOD2015-01-15


You should include kalman filter library.
You can download from here

Angkarit (author)saftari2015-03-06

SERVO Y to modify the code where you want it.


StraydogEOD (author)saftari2015-01-15

Yup! I figured it out a little bit ago and got it working great using a Nano! Thank you again so much for posting the code and instructable!

i know this is far too late and you probably know this now but its because you dont have the kalman library installed

the solucion is simple: you have to put the kalman.h into the library. download it from this page:

select the button called "download ZIP" and then copy the hole holder into the library.

Yup! That worked perfect for me. Got it to operate on an Uno and a Nano board. Probably will do the full build with the Nano. Is there anyway to smooth out the signal a little? Or is that a byproduct of using a servo (jitter) as opposed to a motor? Either way, I definitely appreciate the author taking the time to post up all this, so very helpful!

I have the same problem, did you fix it? please help me, thank you very much.

derek.gnuss (author)2015-03-05

I have heard these guys - are about to launch their own consumer electronic stabilizer solution for GoPro in a couple of months.

cod1337 (author)2014-12-15


I'm not such a handy man so can I buy this mount?

坤照黃 (author)2014-10-05

Hi!, Nice to meet you , I am sam.I got
the problem that about Gyrocam for motor
is I am using the MPU6050+Kalman to install into a motor , If I shake the MPU6050 relatively
strong up and down it just messes it slowly drifts the camera to one side or
the other .it still doesn't work properly. Could you kindly tell me how
to figure the problem out ?

Have a nice day !!!!

ThomasB3 (author)2014-08-18

Good idea, but please it's possible to do a video without these music, because in Germany the censorship block your video. Its sad, I know.

sartikahusain (author)2013-11-17

keren, bisa di kembangkan nggak ya supaya bisa jadi tugas akhir saya ? hehe trims mohon reply nya yaa

faziefazie (author)2013-10-30

Keren mas :)

liorslak (author)2013-07-17

nice project you have.
i tried to built it in arduino but it did not work for me.
i have download a kalman.h from the internet. i am using an arduino duemilanove.

DirtyDieselPhil (author)2013-06-27

Very cool, except that's not a motorcycle - it's a scooter...

ant... (author)2013-05-17

Ive been working on a motorcycle gyro cam and am failing, my current servo resets itself after 1 second, as my bike can be cornering for over 3 seconds, this type of servo is useless.

Findings so far:
- Most accelerometer based systems ive seen or used are too jerky and ive not yet found decent results from RC Gyro Servo's, but im no expert. Ive been told to use more sensors and average the readings but I wouldnt know how.
- MotoGP use GPS to find the angle of the bike, GPS bank angle sensors are common in motorcycle racing, but I dont currently know how to make a servo alter the angle of the lens in conjunction with the bank angle sensor data? I believe this is the answer.

As im no expert with audrino's im currently working on an old fashioned gyro to stabilise my camera. Basically its a motor spinning a heavy steel wheel.

[Bartimaeus] (author)2013-05-08

Just a thought, you could try keeping track of where you last sent the servo, and then when you loop through the next time give yourself a buffer (if new position is +- a certain amount from the previous amount ignore it). That might get rid of shaking from small bumps. The 'random' movement when it turns on sounds like a problem with other sensors I've seen where you need to give them a set amount of time after powering up so things can settle and then you can read it. Maybe just a delay in your setup could fix that. Another idea I had for smoothing is to keep a list of the past five readings or so and check to make sure it isn't going out and then back at any point, and then move to the correct spot. In some of my projects I found that the logic itself was fine, but it was processing too quickly to ever let the hardware catch up. Hope this was helpful, I may try to make this using a wii motion plus as my gyro.

Cibico99 (author)2013-04-04

Some smoothing in the code could be done to have the arduino make better and smoother adjustments. Quadcopters do this, maybe find out if they just do an average or how it is calculated.

saftari (author)Cibico992013-04-07

I'm looking the code to make the servo move smoothly, have you a code or calculation to solve this?

kyle brinkerhoff (author)saftari2013-04-17

your servos you would be able to fit in this application simply do not have the resolution necessary with the default arduino servo library, you may be able to leverage more precision out of the servos by manually altering the waveform through the code, good luck

saftari (author)kyle brinkerhoff2013-04-18

Hi Kyle,
Can you share the link that give a sample code to make a servo move smoothly?

kyle brinkerhoff (author)saftari2013-05-01

so heres how to do it , look up the standard 90 degree position waveform of the pwm signal, then look up the absolute max and mins of that waveform so that you have some fixed points to judge against, then it only becomes a matter of changing the distance from one crest of the waveform to the next crest. wich can be achieved through the use of a loop that has variable timing capabilitys, that will then in turn give you the absolute maximum precision possible, also look into how your servos operate, some servos really can have what i call a one-to-one replication of angle to value, others will operate on whatever waveform you throw at them,

heibert (author)Cibico992013-04-08

i think it's because of slow servo-motor

saftari (author)2013-04-18

I need a sample code to make a servo move smoothly without jitter, and how to eliminate servo 'random' movement when the unit just start up/turn on.
Need sharing and info. Thanks a lot!

stringstretcher (author)2013-04-08

Why not adapting this to work together with a hand-held steadycam rig to dampen the boom's movements? Instead of levelling the camera with a servo, you could use the servo to adjust the small errors that remain after the mechanical (pendulum) dampening, like an inverted pendulum (Segway). Great instructable!

saftari (author)stringstretcher2013-04-18

Thanks bro!.. waiting for your project result.

LeroyR (author)2013-04-11

Very nice instructable! I want to make one myself. I'm not familiar with the arduino boards, so I'd like to ask you, is there a reason you have to use a mini braidboard instead to connect everything direct to the arduino uno?

saftari (author)LeroyR2013-04-18

You can use universal PCB to put additional components, then connect to arduino board

kyle brinkerhoff (author)2013-04-17

hmmmm... gyro sensors people can afford to use with the arduino tend to have a rather slow response, the reason for this is that inertial forces can actually throw the return signal off of the true angle value, this is due in part to their method of operation, using a small void that has a pocket of gas that moves about on a grid of conductivity sensors, so that pocket of gas is subject to the same forces, but this is the reason why in actual military applications of gyroscopes , for instance a gyro stabilized gun mount for a helicopter side gunner, dont use servos and sensors to achieve the task, they simply do not yet have the finnesse to do the job properly, i would love to see this instructable done with a traditional spinning weight gyroscope to counter act the motion, that would be something that could actually be a very viable product to the moto GP community

licenseless (author)2013-04-08

you wanna sell one of these... i could really use it?

WhiteTech (author)2013-04-05

Very cool! Although I just used my KK2 board (Quadcopter control board) I got it for $19.99, has 2 axis camera stabilization built in, All you need to do is hook up power and 2 servos.

djimdy (author)WhiteTech2013-04-07

Cool. How 'bout a quickie instructable with parts list and assembly?

billgeo (author)djimdy2013-04-07

Yeah, how 'bout that?! :-)

WhiteTech (author)billgeo2013-04-07

Alright! although that means partially disassembling my quadcopter unfortunately

billgeo (author)WhiteTech2013-04-08

THATS GREAT (the instructable I mean, not the extra work).
You could also do a detailed write up instead of disassembling the thing...

djimdy (author)WhiteTech2013-04-07

Yessss! ;-D

saftari (author)WhiteTech2013-04-07

wow cool... can you share your work?

rpowell2k6 (author)2013-04-04

Good idea, try adding some pots inline with the accelerometer to help dampen the feedback power as well as using a faster servo.

saftari (author)rpowell2k62013-04-07

hmm.. can you show me the diagram?

ElvenChild (author)2013-04-07

Theoretically, couldn't you just mount the camera on a rod so that it could freely move left and right, and hang a weight from the camera so the weight makes sure it stays horizontal?

WiringHarness (author)ElvenChild2013-04-07

No. With only passive components, you might be able to improve the stability under some conditions, but it would probably oscillate wildly under others.

ElvenChild (author)WiringHarness2013-04-07

So what you're saying is that when the bike straitens out, the weight (and therefore the camera) would swing like a pendulum?

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