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Recently I received the opportunity to try out Servo City's Actobotics build system. While I could have used it to build a great many things, I ultimately decided to make a programmable camera dolly system. This device allows me to create time lapse films with complex movements as well as program repeatable automated real-time camera movements. In other words, this rig allows you to smoothly film complex camera movements in time lapse and real-time.

This project was sponsored by Servo City.

 

Step 1: Features

The Robotic Camera Dolly System has these key features:

  • The ability for real-time filming and stop motion photography.
  • It is ontrollable via an easy-to-use touch screen.
  • The system can pan, tilt and drive at the same time.
  • All actions are repeatable thanks to servo motors and a DC drive motor with a rotary encoder.
  • Thanks to the dynamic Actobotics build system and open source Arduino-based hardware, it is fully customizeable to meet your own needs.
<p>Hola Randy! I am building this with my Cinema students in collaboration with our Robotics Club. We can't find the attached template to cut the acrylic for the top and base. Help!</p><p>:)</p><p>Thanks so much!!!</p><p>@SMH_CINEMA</p>
<p>Great job, man.</p><p>What do you think the project would cost for us mere mortals?</p>
<p>Control it remotely with this</p><p><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/969220052/camsformer-high-speed-triggeringwireless-camera-co" rel="nofollow">https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/969220052/cam...</a></p>
<p>Kudos to Randy! And man I need one of those, anyone willing to sponsor me? LOLjk :D</p>
<p>so great robot!</p>
<p>so great robot!</p>
<p>so great robot!</p>
<p>This is an excellent, well documented instructable. Awesome job Randy! :D</p>
<p>Agree!!!</p>
<p>Excellent Instructable! Very detailed and well ordered steps that make it easy to follow. Nice, well lit photos. I do have one question. I don't see anything in your code that indicates why you need 2 Arduinos to run this instead of just one. Is it code size or easier having them separate since you are using off the shelf code?</p>
<p>The touch shield uses just about all of the pins of the first Arduino. It just made like easier to seperate them, rather than trying to work around the pin shortage. </p>
<p>This is by far the most interesting instructable i have seen. well done</p><p>great pictures and instructions.</p><p>You should put &quot; As a KIT&quot; i Buy one......</p>
<p>Killer! Here is mine. It uses the Servocity PT-2100</p>
<p>Wow! That is a really nice setup. I like how it can travel on an incline. That's pretty cool.</p>
<p>The Actobotics components look very nice. What is the approximate total retail price of the components you used?</p>
<p>This is excellent! If I had the money I'd definitely make this, but I spend money faster like it's nothing </p><p>*sigh* Oh well..a girl can dream ;_;</p>
<p>fantastic! but how many money is cost? </p>
<p>Have not calculated the total cost. At the very least, much cheaper than buying a professional model that does this.</p>
<p>wow, nice work randy. and I made it in the video! good choice.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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