Camera stabilizer motor help!

Hello guys, first time posting here. So I am currently in a computer engineering course in high school and for my final project I want to make a camera stabilizer similar to the movi or ghost as seen here Freefly Systems – Camera Movement Systems for Filmmakers

So my partner and I want to use an arduino to control the stabilization and I recently bought this gyro/accelerometer for the controller to find how off axis the camera is
But my issue is not knowing what motors to use besides dc brushless motors and what kind power supply I would need. I have weighed my camera and lens plus added weight in for the cage and found that the weight would be 1169 grams so I would need motors that could pull at least that. After searching for a while I found these motors and was wondering if they could be controlled by the uno and if they would be strong enough Radio Control Planes, Drones, Cars, FPV, Quadcopters and more - Hobbyking

Thanks for the help in advance and any suggestions would be appreciated.

The speed and torque available will determine how much stabilisation your system can provide i.e. what sort of movements it can compensate for. If you have any sense you will ensure that the camera assembly is statically balanced so that your powered gimbal doesn't have to generate any sustained forces or moments. Assuming you do that, there's no absolute right or wrong with the motor selection, just that the more torque and speed your motors can provide the more violent the movement that it can compensate for. Obviously, once you have found the sort of movement that it can handle well, you'll plan your demonstrations accordingly.

How do you power the motors through a dc power supply separate from the arduino? because the uno can only run 5v. Is it possible to have the motor running from a different power supply than the arduino but still be controlled by the arduino? Also, what voltage of battery do you recommend and how many mah would I need?

Yes, you would normally power the motor from a separate power supply, via a driver circuit that is controlled by the Arduino. Look at Arduino motor shields for examples. The battery voltage and current capacity would need to be chosen to suit the motors you're using and the amount of torque and speed you need from them, and the motor driver would also need to support that voltage and current. The battery charge capacity (size) would need to be chosen based on the average current drawn by your solution, and how long you wanted the battery to last.

The motor will very likely run from a higher voltage than the Arduino. It's quite common to use a voltage regulator to step the voltage down to the 5V that the Arduino needs, using either the Arduino's internal voltage regulator or an external one. Exactly how you do that depends what battery voltage you end up selecting above.

If your camera has image stabilization built in (many do) you could probably achieve the major stabilization using R/C servos as the built-in stabilization may compensate for any inaccuracy in the servos.

It is worth considering servos even if the camera doesn't have image stabilization.

If servos are suitable it will make the programming and the mechanics much easier.


Yes my camera does have a built in stabilizer (sony a57). I would like to refrain from the use of servos because of the sound they make vs brushless. Also I still would like someone to recommend me some motors and a battery strong enough to power them.

The motors need to be specced according to the amount of torque and speed you need out of them. I don't know whether it's common practice to use a direct drive motor for this sort of thing, but if you geared the motor down you would get more torque (but less speed). Have you designed the hardware so that the whole thing is neutrally balanced so that the motors don't need to support any sustained loads?

There was another Thread a while back where someone was looking for a silent motor to control a movie camera (focus or zoom, I think) and as far as I recall he was not successful. I'm not sure if he bought the expensive proprietary accessory.

What about mounting the motors at some distance from the camera and using push rods to pass on the motion?


Radio Control Planes, Drones, Cars, FPV, Quadcopters and more - Hobbyking45589__Turnigy_GBM5206_130T_Brushless_Gimbal_Motor_BLDC.html
If I was to use that motor how could I control it and what battery would I need to be able to power two of them

I can’t figure from that link. It mentions a “Brushless Gimbal Stabilization Board and IMU” - maybe that’s the answer.

Assuming it is a brushless motor it will need some sort of brushless motor controller unless one is built into it. The Arduino will interface with the controller.

Ask Hobby King.


I don't know whether it's common practice to use a direct drive motor for this sort of thing, but if you geared the motor down you would get more torque (but less speed).

...but also more mechanical noise (see the argument against R/C servos earlier)