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16. Applications & Implications

What will it do?

Continously track a moving object to orient a camera towards it. Tracking will be hardware based, allowing the device to be used with multiple types of cameras.

Who has done what beforehand?

Inspiration - Turntable / Pan Mechanism

Oleksandr Romanko designed a Pan mechanism for a similar type of project (see his week09 Assignment show below). I plan on using his design as inspiration to developing my own.

Inspiration - Existing Products

In terms of existing products, I have found three that offer what I am aiming to achieve.

Products Description Price
Pixio/Pixem Considered the best in class of Auto tracking devices. Works indoors and outdoors $800.00
Pivo Proprietary tracking software installed on smartphone - tracks pixels using phone’s camera $134.00
Soloshot Outdoors only - can from up to 600 meters $899.00

What will I design?

Base pan mechanism

Manual Control Mechanism of base system

GPS Positioning and Pointing System

Wireless Communication system between tracker and base unit

What materials and components will be used? How much will they cost?

Materials Description Components Description
Acrylic Device’s components (Gears, Bearings, Mounts) and enclosure Magnetometer Absolute Orientation Detection
3d Printable Plastic Device’s components and enclosure WiFi Module Wireless Communications
Stainless Steel Bearing Balls Stepper Motor Motion

Where will they come from? How much will they cost?

The below table lists the components I have already selected for my project. It does not represent the complete BoM as it solely tries to answer the question at the project’s current state (as of the 18/05/2021).

Component Origin Cost per Unit (in euros)
GPS + Magnetometer Module Amazon - Purchase Link 37,98
Bearing Balls - 6mm - 200 units AliBaba - Purchase Link 5.99

What parts and systems will be made?

1 All electronic circuits
2 A custom Thrust Bearing from milled sheets of acrylic
‘3’ A custom belt drive mechanism
‘4’ 3D printed structure and housing

What processes will be used?

CNC Milling - For the acrylic components used in the thrust bearing.

3D Printing (FDM) - for the core structure and housing of electronic components.

What questions need to be answered?

1 What type of Bearing would be optimal for this system ?
2 What Gear combination should I use ?
3 Will using a single ESP module to host a server and a network affect the performance and speed of the system ?
‘4’ What will the device do when it looses connection to the target ?
‘5’ How to design a mechanism that emits little to no noise ?

How will it be evaluated?

N Criteria
1 System provides a smooth pan motion that can be controlled manually
2 System tracks* a moving object through GPS
3 System points towards object being tracked

Last update: June 16, 2021