GoPro Pan and Tilt Rig
  • Hello All,

    After the simple rig made for the Gopro to take pictures straight down, I thought it would be nice to have a rig that could pan and tilt.
    I wanted to use the GSD-rig (also known as HSD-rig) as starting point. This rig is used as a Picavet for the Pan and Tilt version.

    The rig is intended to be used with the Camremote by Linnar or the AuRiCo by mr Engels. Although I did my testing using a normal remote control. The remote also works perfectly, although the rig is so small that it is difficult to see where the camera is pointing.

    The pictures below are from the first prototype. This works perfectly as it is right now, so nothing needs to be changed with respect to functionality. It tilts from horizontal to vertical and is capable of continuous pan rotation. Gears used for pan have a ratio of 4:1, allowing for smooth pan control. The tilt servo is connected indirectly via a simple rod. This keeps al electronics and servo's nicely on top, resulting in a compact rig.

    One thing needs to be changed; the prototype is build using CA-glue. Making it difficult to replace parts in case something breaks. The design will be slightly changed, so the rig simply is bolted together using 2 or 3 screws. This also allows easy access to the electronic components.
    The camera cradle will stay as it is; simply glued together.

    GoPro Pan & Tilt RigGoPro Pan & Tilt Rig - 2GoPro Pan & Tilt Rig - 3GoPro Pan & Tilt Rig - 4GoPro Pan & Tilt Rig - 5GoPro Pan & Tilt Rig - 6
  • Outstanding design Wichard. Very compact and solid looking. What do you use to cut these out of the plywood?
  • Very cool. Interested to hear the details of the build. (/me needs to figure out how to start doing woodworking at some point for modelling purposes...
  • Thanks for the compliments.

    Details of the build are very simple (to me any way..) As soon as the Idea is there, I start a drawing (most always simply in 2D) using CAD software. If I'm happy with the design, I use simple software to make a program for my little CNC-router, that will then cut the parts.
    My most used tools are 2 and 3 mm diameter end mils and a small .8mm diameter end mill for thin material or small holes. All relatively simple, although a CNC-router is not a common tool to be found at home...
  • Great stuff.

    So when are you going to market the kit and what is it going to cost? I think it's worth having one of these just for its aesthetic value and sheer ingenuity.
  • Thanks for the compliments,

    It will be available in about 2 weeks from now. By that time I will also know the price it's going to be sold at.
    The rig will be sold as a complete package, with all that's needed to complete building it. (You'll need some tools and a bit of very thin CA, that's all)
    The following options are planned:

    Complete setup with Picavet
    Setup without Picavet.

    Included in the Complete package:
    - GSD-rig (the Picavet)
    - Plywood, velcro strap and screws to mount the pulleys.
    - All wooden parts needed for the Rig.
    - Gears
    - 2 Servos, 1 modified for continuous rotation
    - All screws, nuts and bolts needed
    - Velco strap to secure the camera

    You need to get:
    - Pulleys for the PiCaVet.
    - Line and clips
    - CAMremote, Aurico or rc receiver.
    - Battery.
    - Tools
    - CA glue

    Keep in mind that only the smallest of small batteries will fit.
    I'm testing a mini battery, but have no data available as of yet. (it works, that I know.;-) )
    I also need to test the servos if they operate on 3.7V. so they can be used with a small 1cell Lipo.

    I'm also trying to find a solution where the GoPro can be used to power the rig. See for more info about that this thread.

    EDIT: I just discovered that the AuRiCo will NOT fit inside the GoPro rig housing... The good thing is that this is a real good indication of how small the rig actually is....
    Guess I'll have to make the rig just big enough for it to fit inside.

  • Awesome rig! Love the gears.

    Is the router used to create this home made too?
  • Wonderful work Wicherd! I wish I could do things like that.

    Although the rig is designed for the GoPro, I imagine that it could be used also with other cameras that would fit. What do you estimate the maximum size for a camera there is room for?

    Cheers, Jens.
  • Wicherd,

    GoPro cable for CAMremote is coming next week, I'll add power option (GoPro is powering the CR and servos, not sure does camera give out enough power) too if needed.
  • As a proud owner & user of your GSD-rig, I am excited to learn of your newest creation. Very elegant!
  • Hi Wicherd !

    My plan is to give a small 2 S Lipo on the back side of the camera behind the velcro, so i can use also the small 15x15mm Kern Videotransmitter...

  • Hi All,

    I seem to have a similar videotransmitter.
    Keep in mind that the Kern Videotx needs a stable 5-6 Volt input. A 2 cell lipo outputs 7.4 volts.. Using a small switched Voltage regulator, it might be possible to feed the Gopro, tx and rx all from the same 2 cell lipo.
    The GoPro can be fed by an external battery via the rear bus.

    This is becoming an interesting set of options. Using the Bus at the rear of the GoPro we could have:
    - 1 battery for all electronics.
    - Video out
    - remote triggering of GoPro.
    (this actually turns the GoPro on/off in single button mode. This could be used to save battery power by letting the camera also switch the Video tx on and off.)

    Having that battery on the back of the camera could offset the balance. And I will also need to check if the battery will fit. Looks like the thickness of the battery will interfere with tilt motion. (did I mention the rig was a really tight fit around all components?)

    I would really like to have a talk with Gerhard and Linnar about the different options that there might be. Could you contact me via Skype somewhere in the near future? Mail could also work, but skype is more interactive communicating...
    Skype: wicherd_k

    The GoPro is so small, it's the only camera that will fit this rig. The good news is that I will be designing rigs that will fit bigger camera's in the next weeks. And I can always make any kind of camera mount for any aerial purpose.


    PS. Thanks for the compliments!!
  • Hi again !

    The link to the akku is only a sample...i find a lot similar akkus with less weight. (about 20 Gramm) So i think the balance problem is "not a problem". The akku can also be mounted under the camera.(tilt motion)
    I personally prefer 2 akkus, one for the camera, one for the rigcomponents.(longer runningtime) Peter Engels (Skyware-AuRiCo) built very,very small LipoRegulators with stable voltage. I use them since he made it and they works perfect. Whatever you plan/design for the PanTilt Rig, it was OK for me. I will find the best fitting parts (akku,transmitter). For me it was much easier when i have the rig at home. I don't plan/order different components before i haven't the rig in my hands. Sorry i dont use Skype...

  • there was never a link to where we can buy your exceptionaly beautiful rig! post one!!!
  • Sorry, I had (and have) little time for creating a webpage where the GSD-rig and Pan tilt rig can be ordered.
    The good news is that the rig is finally available in its slightly altered form, starting from this weekend.

    The distance between tilt-frame and pan frame is increased, so a GoPro with backpack should also fit. (Or a little battery, Gerhard)

    A little video with building instructions is in the making.

    The package will contain the following:

    - The GoPro GSD-rig. Aka HSD-rig (Plywood, velcro strap, 4 screws)
    - The GSD insert. (Little plywood piece to convert the GSD-rig to a PiCaVet)
    - All plywood pieces needed to create the Pan & Tilt rig
    - 2 servos, one converted for continuous rotation
    - Gear set for pan, ratio 4:1
    - Stainless steel nuts & bolts (M2, M3)
    - 2 nylon screws
    - 5x tie wrap
    - Velcro strap to secure the camera.

    Best option for controlling the rig is the CamRemote. The Aurico will NOT fit inside. You could try mounting it to the outside, but I have no way of testing if this will fit. (Don
  • Here's a picture of the rig in bits and pieces...:
    GoPro Pan & Tilt contents
  • wow. that is beatuiful. is it set to do autokap or does the script need to be loaded? includes instructions to connect an rc controler? where are you shipping from? I'm pretty much in Boston right now. I cant buy this yet but later in the summer, when i have some money.
  • Hi Emmett117

    This rig is not set for autokap, it needs a controller to do autoKAP or RC-KAP. You might consider getting the Camremote build by Linnar.

    Instructions vary on what type and brand RC-receiver you wish to use (or the CAMremote) so please check the manual supplied with the equipment you have on how to correctly connect battery and servos.

    I'm shipping from the Netherlands. Insured mail service to the US would be about
  • Cool. I'll get in touch with you in a few weeks
  • Can't await to hold it in my hands !

  • Thanks a lot, the rig arrive, now i can look for the right electronic components...

  • A little video showing what goes where for the Tilt-frame:
    More little video's in the making.
  • First step...

    first step
  • Great going Gerhard!

    Interesting set of wires I see coming out of the top frame.. Good luck stuffing them all in there.

    One remark (or question.) One of the changes I made is enlarging the center hole in the bottom, so I could fit the "Jezus" -bolt more easy. Looks like you got that blocked with the voltage regulator. That might make fitting it all a bit challenging. (but not impossible)

    Keep up the good work.
  • Hi !

    All the cables fits into the frame, no problem...only the videotransmitter and the akku will fit around the frame. When i want also the videotransmitter have enough space in the top frame, but there are to much cables for me. (disturbances...) I love challenging !!


  • Wicherd,

    Excellent work.
    I see that the new rig is suspended from the plate that fits in the top of the original GSD rig. Is this fastened down in any way to stop it jumping out of its seat and falling through should there be any turbulence?
    I would like one of these rigs for my GX200.
  • Let's make that: Excellent work, Gerhard. (again)

    You could reduce the interference caused by cables simply by reducing them in length.. That also reduces weight (but not by much...)

    This insert is secured using a velcro strap.
    Regarding the GX200:
    At 250 grams of weight (camera + battery and a memory card filled with pictures) that is not going to fit this rig. (the GX200 is double the size of a GoPro)
    The good news is that a model for larger camera's is in devellopement.
  • Hi again !

    When i have made the first test i will shorten the cables...not before.

    And maybe a idea is when you can change a little part of the tiltframe. The AV-OUT is not free (HD HERO 960, maybe the HD is different) Take a look on the photo. This is really not a problem, but i think it was easy for you to change it in your constructionsplan.

    Best wishes Gerhard

  • Hi !

    The radio controlled rig with videotransmitter for the GoPro Hero HD 960 is ready, one and only i miss the connector for the AV-out from the camera.


  • Hi Gerhard,

    Amazing to see how much electronics you have managed to squeeze into that little housing.Well done!! And thanks for posting your build here. It's very interesting to see how others set up their rigs.
    Pictures can be deceiving: this rig fits on my hand with room to spare...

    I have one important note: Use lock tite on ALL bolted connections!
    Have fun!
  • I like this camera a lot because of its durability.
    I have ordered the CamRemote + 8ch Rx/Tx for my coming autopano RIG.

    The problem as I see it, is that I can't shutter control it so I can synchronice the pan and tilt servo
  • Why would you want to use the housing. Unless you need protection against water, the housing is just a lot of added weight.
    A servo should have no problem pressing the button on the camera itself..:
  • I suppose the housing also helps to keep it alive if it should drop from 60m height.
    Or is it to much to hope for?

    My first choice was a Canon S95, but I must admit that I am a bit nervous (chicken) to crash it, and therefor the GoPro could be a solution.
  • LarsBonde,

    Sorry I've been too busy to launch GoPro control cable for CAMremote but will do it as soon as possible.
  • @ Linnar
    Cool, I didn't know it was possible to control it via USB.
    What can you control?
    Sorry if I am a bit of topic.
  • LarsBonde- I doubt it can be control via USB. The 3D Hero System comes with a "Sync Cable", so I believe Linnar is to launch a cable that would fit into the rear HERO port.

    3D Hero Sync Cable
  • Yes, I mean shutter release and video recording control through GoPro interface port not USB.
  • Here's an alternative promising design, that is currently a Work In Progress, and is printed in 3D:

    [video of gyro-stabilized version]
  • I ran across this in January when I was building my Y6 multi-rotor copter. Unfortunately, no one in the copter forums could say anything good about these, so I never pursued it. You'd have to also find the smaller servos, and the GS-1 servos would not work with this.
  • Maybe this one is better suited for KAP:

    GoPro Hero Pan&Tilt rig

    The 3D printed frame weighs just 13 grammes. With 2 HiTec servos, a battery, the folding Picavet with blocks and the electronics the rig brings 81 grammes on the scale. At this moment it is a Work in Progress too but that wouldn't be long now.
  • @Peter, Please inform me when it is available, I'm interested on this 3D Printed Gopro Rig. Thanks!
  • A bit wider, and it would fit a Nex5 ;-)
  • Peter. When you have one of those for the Hero3, let me know. Quite possibly it will already work with both the 2 or 3. Looks like a great lightweight rig.
  • Looks great peter. Is that a lipo, will it fit a remote? Exciting stuff!
  • This looks interesting, a servo driven gimbal for the GoPro.
  • Dude! Thanks for posting that, Puffin. That's the first time I've seen differential motion of two servos used to create a roll axis in a camera. That's just plain cool.

  • I found this thread while researching options for building a continuous rotation rig for the gopro. Has there been any progress on the 3d printed rig that Peter had posted? It looks far more amazing than my plans.

    If it is still a pipe dream, does anyone have a good way to attach a gopro directly to a servo/gear set which would mount to my picavet? I'm trying to avoid a full frame for the gopro.
  • Someone of the French forum did a great job in this respect! It is a full frame but it is minimalistic in a beautiful way

    Nacelle Go Pro 2.1
  • That's PRETTY!

    Hey, does anyone know of a supplier on this side of the pond for that thermosetting carbon fiber that was popular a few years ago? It'd be neat to see what the ultimate minimalist Gopro pan/tilt rig is. I'd say this is getting awfully close!

  • What an awesomeness in these designs, wow!
    This is my first Gopro Hero3 KAP shot!

  • Tom, I have been looking but can't find anything. I work with kydex (a thermoforming plastic) and made my first picavet with it. It could work as it is strong enough and reasonably light but it has a good bit of flex especially when thin. A full box frame could be a good way to go, I am considering it. I also wonder if you could use a thermoplastic to form the shape and drape carbon cloth/resin to make it.

    These have me wondering if a minimalist frame could be worth looking into. I could offset some of the weight by ditching the housing. I also have some smaller rechargable batteries I could use. Servos are all Greek to me but it looks like I'm diving in,

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