Introduction: Remote Control Camera Dolly

About: I'm an environmentally conscious experimenter who loves to bring people together, build things, and when possible...blow things up! See us on YouTube too!

Something very handy to have if you shoot video is a camera dolly. It's even cooler if it's powered, and having it remotely controlled is the icing on the cake. Here we build a remote control camera dolly for under $50 (at the time of this writing).

Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • Drill and bits
  • Hacksaw
  • Wrenches
  • Allen wrenches
  • Screwdrivers


Step 2: Make Your Platform

Cut (or find) a piece of wood suitable in size to use as a platform. I had a scrap of Oak 1x6" that was perfect. The wheels I found had ¼" bore so I was able to use ¼" cap screws for the axle. If you drill a 15/64" hole in hardwood, a ¼" bolt will thread right into it without much trouble and hold tight.

Drill three holes to mount the wheels. We're using three holes because aligning four wheels so it doesn't rock is pretty tough to get right the first time and I want to get you to success. Drill two holes in the corners on one side and one hole in the middle of the other side.

We had a broken tripod that had a good camera mount. It was on a 5/8" diameter tube so we drilled a hole to accept that tube and wedged it in.

Step 3: Mount Your Stepper Motor

This instructable was made long after I built the dolly, so the image won't match with some of parts I provided links to. For example. there is a link to buy a motor mount (for $3 at the time of this writing), but you can see that I made mine from aluminum angle. Also, the pully on mine is actually a block of aluminum I drilled to mount on the motor.

Mount your pulley on the motor and mount the motor on the mount. Wrap the pulley with enough rubber bands to make what is essentially a tire on the pulley. Mount the motor so this tire rubs on the center drive wheel.

Step 4: Mount the Controller Board

Designate which side of the unit will be the front and mount the controller board so the optical sensor faces that direction.

Plug the motor into the controller. Cut the USB cable and strip the shield off part of it. There should be four different color wires inside. Connect the black and red wires to the black and red power wire that came with the controller board and plug the power wire onto the board. Connect the other end to your USB charger and turn it on.

The + and - buttons will change the readout on the control board's digital display. A larger number is faster. Pushing the right and left arrow buttons makes it go.

Step 5: Watch Video of It Working