Home » Laser Pointer / Gimbal / 2-axis tracking Robot

Laser Pointer / Gimbal / 2-axis tracking Robot

We always wanted to “evolve” the laser/torch pointer robot. It lacked of precision and speed. As the NEMA17 motors are widely available we decided to use them to create this project.

Basically, this robot can control with accuracy (no backlash) and at high speeds any “pointing” element you want to attach to it: a torch, camera, a laser, nerf gun, a stick… It is an Arduino based project. The control APP has been written in Python and the 3D printed parts are easy to print (no support needed). We are still working on it. If you want to contribute with ideas or comments, let us know on our social network sites (links below)

Laser pointer robot

 

Current state of development:

  • We have created the interface and calibration method to use the laser pointer robot as a tracking device for celestial objects. The Stellarium software provides the perfect UI. You just only need to select any object in the night sky with Stellarium and the laser pointer will show you where it is (planets, artificial satellites, constellations…).
  • We have attached a low wattage red laser to the robot and remotely controlled it so the cat can spend hours playing with the dot. You can even create the movement patterns and activate it when the cat needs some exercise!
  • Using your smartphone you can move the laser according to the mobile’s internal accel/gyros sensor. The robot can be connected to the smartphone via WIFI.
  • We are using OPENCV to detect features and track them automatically with a camera

 

Some renders of the laser pointer robot (with a GoPro Camera):

X Y pointer robot 2

X Y pointer robot

Laser pointer robot detail

Useful Links:

 

 

BOM (so far): 

3D printed parts

2x 20 teeth pulley

2x 200mm GT2 6mm width timing belt o-ring

2x NEMA 17 motors + 14 + 45 cms cables

1x DEVIA CONTROL BOARD (or equivalent)

2x A4988 stepper motor drivers

2x 6002RS ball bearing

6x zip ties (4×100 mm or similar). To fix and sort out the cables

12V / 1.5 A power supply or battery pack (9 to 12 volts)

1x Micro USB cable 

2x 40mm M3 bolts (recommended but can be replaced with a good glue)

15x M3 16mm bolts

15x M3 10mm bolts

3x Wood screws (if you want to fix the base to any solid structure)

Follow us to stay tuned!