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Mar 23, 2013, 05:40 AM
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Camera gimbal breakthrough


Remember the disastrous PT785-S pan/tilt mount? It was too slow & too inaccurate to be any use in position sensing, but it's been made obsolete in the last 4 months by the rise of cheap, fast, accurate, direct drive, brushless gimbals.

Brushless gimbals came out of nowhere & are going to replace all servo gimbals in no time. All the goog results are coming from the last 4 months. You know it's a disruptive technology when it goes from nowhere to everywhere in 4 months. It's going to have a lot of people now using gimbal stabilization who previously were satisfied with hard mounting, it's going to make model copters a lot more ubiquitous in professional production, & it's going to make these steadicam quality shots the baseline quality for aerial video.

Servo gimbals always had a slight wobble that wasn't in full size copter footage, but that's now gone. Brushless gimbals produce a leap in video stability in a much smaller package. They were around for a long time, in the form of the DJI Zenmuse, but very expensive. The key development was a crazy Russian guy named Alex Moskalenko figuring out cheap hobby motors could be rewound to make the perfect high torque, low cogging stepper motors a camera mount needed.

This is a big leap towards making pan/tilt mounts small enough to put in phones, finally bringing steadicam stability to the masses. It's basically the 1st device which successfully replaces all the mechanics & tuning in a steadicam with really cheap, actively driven electronics. The days of guys gluing pipes together to stabilize their camcorders are already over.

Previous techniques involving a sliding lens element or software stabilization couldn't handle the wide range of motion in a phone or a model copter, but a full pan/tilt mount can. It just needed to be fast & small enough.

It's also a key development in making indoor micro UAV's practical. Any onboard position sensing based on vision needs the fast, wide pointing range that only a direct drive pan/tilt mount can give. The trick is finding small enough motors with enough torque. The smallest brushless motors are still too big to even make a brushless servo in micro size.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Mar 23, 2013 at 04:36 PM.
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