The systems we offer are Pan/Tilt
/Roll (no vertical motion or motion along a track). A "hobby servo
" is essentially a motor which allows you to send position commands, often between 0 and 180 degrees (some can do more depending on the system). You will also see systems use normal DC gear motors
(no position or velocity feedback, but the motion can be very smooth). Last, a DC motor with encoder
counts the number of revolutions of a motor's shaft and as such can provide an idea of displacement (and can also do continuous rotation). Most pan/tilt systems use hobby servos because they can be moved to specific positions. The issue with hobby servos is that their accuracy is usually not very high (1-2 degrees or more).
We do not offer any track systems, but the two common varieties are:
1) Have the cart (plus camera rig) self-propelled: this is usually needed when the track is very long or complex, and has the advantage of being a self-contained unit (no long wires). If you make or buy such a rig, the motors will need encoders so you know the position of the cart on the track.
2) Have the cart connected to a timing belt which is then connected to a DC gear motor on the track; this is great for short distances.
If you want to record
(or program) and play back the same routines, a servo-based system is easiest to create. To control servos, you need a "servo controller
", a 4.8V to 6V power supply
which can provide the needed current (battery pack or wall adapter), and ideally something to program it with (computer / laptop). If you have a mix of servo motors and DC gear motors with encoders, you'll need a variety of motor controllers
and likely a central unit (microcontroller
) to communicate with them all.
You could try a linear actuator
with position feedback for the vertical motion, but the motion may not be as smooth as you'd like. The other foreseeable issue is that you want "frame by frame accuracy" - at 30 frames per second; this will almost be impossible.