Introduction: Horizontal Gyroscope Stabilization Camera System

Picture of Horizontal Gyroscope Stabilization Camera System
Here is a very unique device meant to be put on the top of your car. There is a camera at one end and a servo motor on the other side (the servo is activated by an onboard gyroscope). 

Ultimately, the design was meant for drifting. Since the winter was really bad around here (we haven't received a lot of precipitations), I was not able to film the rig on snow. However, I do have some pretty nice videos of this setup on different cars.


Step 1: Parts Needed

Mechanical components
- Suctions cups
- Aluminum rod, 1/2 x 1/2 8 feet long
- Plywood 24" by 5"
- 1/4 20 2-1/2" long
- 1/4 nuts
- 1/4 washer
- 2,5 Lbs dumbell weight
- #6 wooden screws 1-1/4"

Electrical components
- Servo motor
- Gyroscope
- 6V lead-acid battery
- 4,8V battery
- Power switch
- Wires
- Remote control transmitter and receiver

- Drill
- GoPro camera
- Duck tape

Step 2: Suction Cup

Picture of Suction Cup

I saw this video on youtube of someone showing up how to attach a standard camera to a car via suction cups.

They use the Fast Cap suctions cups found on Amazon for 10,39$ each! This is a very low price for the pretty good quality!

Each suction cup can hold 200lbs!! I was able to do pull ups with them!

Step 3: Servo Motor

Picture of Servo Motor

This is the key of this projet, the servo motor (the gear box is actually pretty powerfull).

The potentiometer inside was removed and replaced with another one that is attached to the output shaft. Therefore, it can move exactly like a standard servo.

Kyle from Servocity recommended me to choose the HS-805MG (MG stand for Metal Gears). Check out the pictures, they are pretty impressives!

Step 4: 3D Cad

Picture of 3D Cad

Here is the CAD I did in Solidworks. I wanted to validate different aspects of the project before starting it.

Step 5: Equilibrium

Picture of Equilibrium

Since I have this very long pole with a camera at the end, I wanted to make sure that everything is balanced. I wanted to remove any stress on the shaft of the servo. It's not that hard to understand (basic physics), details can be seen on the drawing.

The shaft of the power servo system can have up to 200lbs on either side of if. So, the equilibrium is just there to help out.

If you have a heavy counter weight, it takes longer for the motor to start spinning.

Step 6: Schematic

Picture of Schematic

Please have a look at the PDF, it's in "high resolution"!

The most important part is the "Y" harness. The servo consumes a lot of current and the gyroscope can't provide enough of it (only the signal is sent to the servo). The servo is taking the power from the lead acid battery. Otherwise if would have taken the power from the little 0.6A (red) battery!

Step 7: Schematic

Picture of Schematic

Step 8: The Wooden Base

Picture of The Wooden Base

Step 9: Install the Servo Motor

Picture of Install the Servo Motor

Step 10: Install the Gyroscope

Picture of Install the Gyroscope

Step 11: Install the Electrical Wires

Picture of Install the Electrical Wires

Please be aware: to simplify the pictures, I did not install the power switch. The one for the servo and the one for the receiver.

Step 12: Install the FM Receiver

Picture of Install the FM Receiver

Please be aware: to simplify the pictures, I did not install the power switch. The one for the servo and the one for the receiver.

Step 13: Install the Batteries

Picture of Install the Batteries

Please be aware: to simplify the pictures, I did not install the power switch. The one for the servo and the one for the receiver.

Step 14:

Picture of

Since I need to move the entire setup from place to place, I decided to have a mechanism in place so I could remove the boom from the servo with 2 bolts.

What you are about to see is a very rugged way to mount the boom to the servo (it can be mounted differently).
I machined two spacers which goes inside the holes of the main gear. There is a lip on the spacer so it can't fall off.

Please have a look at the 2 last pictures. That was the original way to mount the gear to the aluminium boom.
The bolts are very short, vibration got them loose. That is why I created the spacers. The very first idea was to drill and bolt directly in the gear.

Step 15: Crane Support

Picture of Crane Support

I added cables to make the entire setup rigid. This improvement was done to minimize the vibration of the system.

The same principle can be observed on cranes in order to make the entire structure more stiff.

Step 16: Attaching the GoPro

Picture of Attaching the GoPro

Step 17: Attaching the Counter Weight

Picture of Attaching the Counter Weight

Step 18: Improvements

Picture of Improvements

There is still a lot of improvements to be made on the system.

Here is the very first prototype as well as the latest version which is the most robust yet to be installed on the car.

Step 19: Improvement

Picture of Improvement

If I want to put that on Ken Block car, I need something a little bit more hardcore!

Like this from servocity

Having a 1inch tubing will make the entire rig very stiff. We would need to install the potentiometer at the bottom of the shaft so we can get feedack.


Gamer 1283454 (author)2013-06-19

Duude your drivers side is on the wrong side LOL!

Here in the US the drivers seat is on the left because we drive on the right side of the road. :P


lluckey1 (author)2012-12-14

ever tried a jib crane system with this same project?

Toga_Dan (author)2012-09-07

Nice work!

If I'm not mistaken, the first video had 1 axis stabilization, and the second clip had 2 or 3. Yes?

TheHawkeye (author)2012-06-12

Looks great! Would it help to add a bungee cord to allow the camera to snap back a little quicker though?

notingkool (author)2012-06-11

The point of view it's exactly like in a video game.
Good work

Honus (author)2012-06-07

That is really neat! I'll send this to a film maker friend.

Code Grey (author)2012-06-05

Sorry, you messed up the maths/physics :)

You forgot to include the weight of that hefty looking bar.
Say it weighed around 1kg (1000g):

M1=(?g x 200mm) + (((2/17) x 1000g) x 100mm)

M2=(300g x 1500mm) + (((15/17) x 1000g) x 750mm)

Hence, counter weight will weigh 5500g or ~12lb. You've got an percentage error of around 60% going there, thats going to put unnecessary strain on the system.

Hey Code Grey!

Thank you very much for your comment! I fix it! It weight around 290g.

Take care!

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