Dynamics: Design a Cell Phone Camera Stabilizer

Have you ever been annoyed by watching shaky footage taken by your cell phone? In that case, you might have thought about using a gimbal or a camera stabilizer. Ever wondered how they work? In this lab, you will understand the dynamics behind it and design your own camera stabilizer.

Model of the Camera Stabilization System

A model for the stabilisation system consists of a series of links joined by pinned connections. The act of walking with the stabilizer is modelled as a harmonic displacement applied on the handle of the system. Springs and dampers are used to influence the motion of the phone as the system is subjected to the disturbance.
Model diagram of the camera stabilization system.

Analyze the Camera Motion

Compare the vertical displacement of the camera with and without the camera stabilization system. You will observe that the vertical displacement of the cell phone with the stabilizer has attenuated.
Animation of the cell phone with the camera stabilization system. The plot on the right compares the vertical motion of the cell phone. The blue curve is the displacement of the cell phone without the stabilizer and orange curve is the displacement of the cell phone with the stabilizer.

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