Controlling a camera on motorized X/Y rotational axes w/ monitor viewfinder

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 10, 2014
I've been working on a project for a while and I need to figure out the possiblities of doing some things. I want to have a camera (with telephoto lense) on a motorized axis so it can pan and tilt. There will be 1-2 wide angle camera's in a fixed location on the base of the mounting which will go to monitors but they will be used as position finders for the camera's zoomed movement.

Every screen or video has a fixed resolution such as 640 x 480 or 1920 x 1080. I figure that I can use the coordinates of the monitor/window (which is a normal method for GUI screens) so if I click in the center the coordinates would be 960 x 540 and the motors would pan and tilt to get to that location. I don't necessarily want to do anything with the camera matching the image between the zoom & fixed camera, that is much too complicated, but I figured that I should be able to determine electric pulses (use an arduino & PWM??) for the motor to move X number of pixels for both pan and tilting.

I think I should be able to expand it to the two screens all I would need to do is make sure the camera's line up horizontally and don't have overlapping field of view (easier said than done) but I would just need to have 2x the number of X values in the program - such as 3840 x 1080.

I am wondering the best way to transmit cursor location on the monitor to a x/y coordinate and what kind of software it would need and if it could be done on something like a raspberry pi. As far as the motor control I figure it could be done with an arduino which would take an input signal from the Pi (location value) and calculate distance to new coordinates. then it could control the PWM to drive the motors.

As far as motors I'm wondering what would be the best choice. I would think servo's could be good especially if I could get the gearing to match 1 pixel per revolution of the motor. The other option I thought would be a stepper motor or possible a very high RPM BLDC with a reduction gear. What do you think would be the best option? As far as weight I would guess 5-8lbs total for the moveable unit and it would be balanced * "plumb" over the X/Y/Z axes.

I know there are some off the shelf options but there isn't anything affordable that would fit what I need to do and this project incorporates at least 8 different things that I want to learn so it would be a great learning project. I just need to get some guidance on if my ideas are on the right track and if what I described should result in a working unit if done properly.