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b5If you are at all interested in photography then you likely know that a stable camera is the best camera. With today’s technologies available within many expensive cameras, auto stability features are very common, but with that said, sometimes it takes more then internal technology to pull off that perfect video or photograph.

This is where a Lake Forest, California inventor named David Johnson comes into the picture. Johnson, who decided that something was missing from the potential toolboxes of the casual photographers out there, earlier this year set out to create a tool which would provide high-end studio capability without the high-end studio price tag. This is how the SteadyShot Bot came to fruition.

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The SteadyShot Bot utilizes a sophisticated motion controller to move a camera, as an intervalometer directs the camera when to take a photo over IR or a wired connection. This makes it perfect for time-lapse or hyper-lapse photography. Using a 3-axis stabilized controller along with its relatively light and compact design, the device is also great for stabilizing video during production. The SteadyShot Bot will not only be able to prevent noticeable undesirable movement, but can also force the camera to track a specific object during its movement.

So how did Johnson come up with the design for this innovative, yet affordable product? He used 3D printing, and lots of it.b2

“The 3D printing and DIY space has really fueled the project,” explains Johnson. “The current product design is the result of many iterations of 3D printed prototypes. Although the final product is injection molded, using 3D printed parts allowed us to evolve the design faster than traditional methods.”

Not only did he prototype multiple iterations for components on the SteadyShot Bot via 3D printing, but Johnson is also making the models for all the components open source and releasing them to the public. The models can then be downloaded and 3D printed on almost any desktop FDM 3D printer on the market.

Below are the specifications of the device–which Johnson is pre-selling on Kickstarter, starting at $1,099 for the unassembled kit, and going up from there dependent on the options the user requires:

  • Product dimensions: Height: 12″ Width: 11″ Depth: 10″
  • User interface: 3″ x 2″ Color TFT Resistive Touch screen 1-RGB status light 1-Yellow/Red Focus/Shutter light on camera tray
  • Sensors : Dual 3-axis Accelerometer/Gyroscope – Stabilization Single 3-axis Magnetometer – Compass/Direction
  • Device drive systems: XL Belt 1/5 tooth spacing Auto-Feed belt drive system Slider Pulling Strength: 10 Lbs @ 60 deg.
  • Life of battery: Internal: 8 hours External – Bat-Pack: 4 hours
  • Speed: Gimbal Speed: 5 to 45 degrees /sec (configurable) Bot Speed: 1 to 5″/sec

Johnson is seeking to crowdfund a total of $310,000 by September 12th in order to make his creation a reality. If funded, and all goes well, he hopes to begin shipping the very first units sometime in March of next year. Meanwhile, for those wishing to construct their own bot, the the 3D printable files should be available soon.

Let us know if you’ve backed this product on Kickstarter and your thoughts on Johnson making the design open source and 3D printable. Discuss in the SteadyShot Bot forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the device in action below:

 

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