Simple Gimbal With Micro:bit and 2 Servos

Introduction: Simple Gimbal With Micro:bit and 2 Servos

About: I'm an Electrical Engineer and I have build some robots and microcontroller based systems. I also like building things that fly like planes, rockets and more. I started with 14 years old controlling an arm wit…

Hi!

Today I'll show you how to make a simple gimbal stabilizer.

You can see the YouTube video here.

It will hold a light camera. But if you put a more powerful servos and structure, it can hold your smartphone or even a proper camera.

In the next steps we'll see how to make it, and program it, including the code in the different repositories that I posted online.

Supplies:

  • A Micro:bit board.
  • Two servos.
  • Some wiring to connect the servos to the board.
  • A 6 VDC battery (for the servos) and an adapter to 5 VDC (for the Micro:bit board). I'm using the HW-130 for protoboards.
  • A piece of cardboard to make the holder (140 x 150 mm will be enough).
  • Some popsicle sticks.
  • Hotglue and a hotglue gun.

Step 1: Step 1: Identify the Parts

The main parts for the gimbal are:

  1. the holder. You hold the whole device with it. It's made of cardboard in this case for simplicity, it holds:
    • most of the wiring inside,
    • the battery and power adapter.
    • the Micro:bit board,
    • the rest of the hardware (servos) with the main platform with one servo.
  2. An intermediate arm with a servo.
  3. The platform stabilized.

Step 2: Step 2: Measure the Parts Needed.

Here you can see the main parts with the measurements.

You can change them, but ensure the servos have enough space to turn, otherwise they will hit each other and the whole system wont work fine.

Step 3: Step 3: and Build Them.

I suggest you also:

  • start from bottom to top:
    1. first the holder, to hold the Micro:bit board.
    2. Then stick a popsicle stick from the middle to the top, leaving enough space
    3. so you can fit the main platform at the top.
    4. add the first servo to that platform. Ensure you leave enough space for rotation.
    5. Then add the arm that will hold the second servo. Be careful to make it long enough so it doesn't collide during rotation.
    6. Add the second servo.
    7. Finally add the platform that will be stabilized. Again it's arm must be long enough so there is no collision with the main platform or the previous servo.

Step 4: Step 4: Program the Whole Thing.

At this point you will have a solid platform to make the whole system work.

My suggestion is that you test first the program with the servos without mounting the whole thing. This is because you need to ensure the right rotation for each servo, also that there is no collision between the servos.

Some adjustments can be made by software, specially:

  • Offset: if the main arm or the stable platform are not perfectly aligned, you can move a bit each servo's leaver, but a finer way is with the x and z offsets that are included in the software.
  • You can test the level by pressing the A button.

If you like this project, please leave me a comment here.

You can also write me in twitter here.

Makecode code is here.

Github code and description is here.

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