View Full Version : Motion Control Dolly Plans
12-30-2005, 01:33 AM
Does anyone know how to build or know of any plans online to build a motion control dolly? I've been using lots of effects shots on my music videos now and rentals for mo-co dollies are expensive. Please help. Thanks.
12-30-2005, 02:28 AM
For really simple movements in one direction only, it seems like it would be simple to just rig up some sort of motor system controled by a laptop. If you are talking about going in X and Y directions, I wouldn't count on finding plans online. The companies that make those things want to keep being able to charging $600 a day.
12-30-2005, 02:40 AM
you could probably get a basic pan out of something like this:
Is this for working alone with just you pushing the dolly?
12-30-2005, 07:57 AM
Check ebay, junkyards, surplus places for X-Y equipment used in machine shops and manufacturing.
Hmmm....or maybe a robot kit, if you can find one sturdy enough to mount the camera on.
12-30-2005, 10:17 AM
Actually, right now, I'd be happy with a motorized dolly that moves with a constant velocity. The problem is with how to rig this thing. I'd probably have to build a dolly from scratch.
Eventually I'd want a motorized jib arm that can move in any direction.
I've been thinking about picking up a used garage door opener from a thrift store to experiment with pulling a dolly at a repeatable speed.
just an idea.
12-30-2005, 11:00 AM
so you're talking about a motorized dolly, not the head?
>Eventually I'd want a motorized jib arm that can move in any direction
That's kind of ambitious, but I'd love to see what you come up with!
12-30-2005, 07:48 PM
Yes, the motorized jib arm is ambitious. I'm sure it's a long way off.
The motion-controlled dolly I want is basically a motorized dolly that goes back and forth at constant speed on a track. It's simple if you think about it. I just need plans on how to build a dolly with a motor on it.
12-30-2005, 10:18 PM
A guy at a hardware store might know what you'd need. I ask them a lot of random questions and they always seem really excited to offer their advice. Lowes is best in my experience.
electric garage door mechanism attached to a simple home made dolly would work
01-01-2006, 09:43 AM
The garage door motor idea will probably work but it seems a little bulky. I'm thinking more of a huge version of an R/C car motor. I'm sure there are motors out there like this.
01-01-2006, 09:57 AM
For about a $100 you can buy an electric rechargeable scooter. The motor, speed control, battery and urethane wheel would likely transfer right over to a dual inline skate wheel dolly. I've thought about it.
01-01-2006, 10:01 AM
The garage door sounds promising, but I wonder about that sudden jolt that you get when it starts up.. and how smooth it would be. I did something similar on a project where I had to repeat an object move over and over again and we came up with a tension based offsetting series of bungie cords. We were able to get it to move at the same rate depending upon how we adjusted the tension and how we released them. We had a stopwatch on set as well as measurement marks on the ground. Not sure if this would work for a dolly but could be worth investigating a tension based system or such.