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Camera Stabilizer (Physics related) Answered

I had an idea for a camera stabilizer a while ago which involves some basic rules of physics. I've done some thinking on it and I can't seem to figure out if it would really work or not.
It involves two principles:
1.) Torque (t=f*d)
2.) Inertia (p=m*v)


The idea is to combine a gimbal design found on camera "gliders" like these:
-Commercial product: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/521721-REG/Steadicam_MERLIN_Merlin_Camera_Stabilizing_System.html
-Homemade design:

...with some sort of see-saw to counter the effects of up-and-down motion. 
Ignoring the fact that this might be somewhat hard to hold such a thing, I just want to know if this would work.


Any balanced see-saw will have an equal amount of torque on either side of the pivot point. Therefore, a balanced see-saw will work with 500g hung 10cm from either side of the pivot point, OR 750g 5cm from one side and 250g 15cm from the other side (750*5=3750; 250*15=3750). 

With this concept, I thought of designing this part of the stabilizer like a small camera jib (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jib_(camera)). That is, the camera on one end with a counterweight on the other. The pivot point would have a handle or some kind of vehicle mount on it. 

The stabilization occurs (or so I'm thinking) because of inertia. Inertia=mass*velocity. So, when the pivot point (the handle) moves up or down, one of the sides of the see saw should move up faster than the other. The side that moves up slower (the longer side of the see saw, I'm thinking) should have the camera mounted to it. 


Is there a flaw somewhere in my thinking?

THE QUESTION: Would both sides of an uneven length, balanced see-saw move up at the same time when the pivot point is moved up or down?

I'm not really sure and I'd like to hear your input. 



7 years ago

It sounds to me like what you're describing is a Steadicam. It's a very good, basic design, and you can find several I'bles about how to build different kinds.

John Smithkelseymh

Reply 7 years ago

It pretty much is, except the real ($$$) one uses a network of springs and pulleys. I just haven't found one anywhere that uses this specific design.

John Smithsteveastrouk

Reply 7 years ago

Thanks, I've actually already built a few of those with that design. They work well, but I feel like they lack the feel of a true steadicam.
It doesn't matter, though, I've put this idea on the back burner for now.