Introduction: 3ft DIY Actobotics Motorized Slider for Syrp Genie Mini: Part II

In Part II of this series, we'll look to see if we can add motorized lateral movement on the slider using the Syrp Genie Mini. But wait, the Genie Mini is designed for rotational time lapse and video sequences. How will this work? Basically, with a few extra parts, we'll be using the Genie Mini mounted on one end of the slider, and have it pull the carriage along the track with some string. As it rotates, it coils the string and pulls the camera.


There areother solutions that will give you motion on a slider, but most of these cheaper options are continuous servos or motors. I wanted to see if the Syrp Genie Mini would work, as it would allow a shoot-move-shoot scenario. Since the Genie Mini has an interface to program the time and interval, you'll have a ton more control over how the time lapse sequence is made. The Syrp Genie Mini isn't necessarily cheap, as I purchased it for $249 off of Amazon. However, it's significantly cheaper than the eMotimo Specturm ST4, which will talk about in Part III of this series. There are cheap alternatives on the market, like the LRTimelapse solution, which requires a bit more effort to build and program. Since I already had the Syrp Genie Mini, I just really wanted to see if I could get it to work.

Limitations: The Syrp Genie Mini only allows for 720 degrees of rotation in a programmed sequence. So basically, it will turn completed around 2 times. I already had a 6" wood disc that I had created for another tutorial, and decided to reuse. If you do the math properly, after the string is wrapped around the perimeter of the disc 2 times, that's 18.84 inches of travel. Considering that the track that the string goes in has been cut into the wood 1/2 Inch, this is probably closer to 15" for the circumference. (C = 2 π r) Since the slider carriage travels around 30 inches, this should work fine. If you have a longer slider, then just use a disc with a bigger diameter.

Step 1: Parts Needed

Part II of this series assumes that you already have a Syrp Genie Mini and a slider built from Actobotics parts. The parts below are specifically what is needed for this part of the build. You'll still need to build the Actobotics slider, as discussed in Part I. Most of these parts com from

The extra channel is to provide an offset for the disc so that it aligns with the center of the main channel on the slider. I used a table saw to cut the groove in the edge of the disc, which is where the string will coil as it rotates.

Step 2: Testing

In order to achieve the shoot-move-shoot sequence, I needed an extension cable for my camera. This will work for my Sony RX100and my Canon 5D Mark III.

I mounted this on my tripod at a bit of an angle so that gravity helps keep tension on the string as it coils. I wouldn't recommend severe angles, as I doubt the Genie Mini motor was designed to pull that much weight. A slight downward angle seemed o work just fine for me. My initial test was successful and was able to have the carriage travel the entire length of the slider. I will post results of the setup in use as soon as I have time.

*** Please note that the images also show the stepper motor for the eMotimo Spectrum mounted on the right hand side of the slider. I am waiting on a few parts to finish part III of the build, but didn't want to wait starting construction. Just ignore that for this part of the build.

Final thoughts? It works. I'm not sure this is the most reliable option, but I was able to take a rotational mount and use it on a slider. :)