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C@PPER writes -

I needed a simple way to add pan and tilt capability to my LabCam from a remote location using a web page interface. Two RC servos and an ATmega16 was the solution. This project is fairly simple in nature, and was completed in less than a week.

The two servos are attached directly to the webcam to form a gimbal. The controller consists of an ATmega16, a MAX232 IC, and a small 5V power supply.

The LabCam was already running on a Mepis Linux server using Camstreams to take snapshots at defined intervals. One of the guys at helped me with the PHP code to output servo control commands from the Mepis PC serial port to the controller. The controller then adjusts the servos in response to commands received.

A custom web page on the Mepis server links both the snapshot photos and the servo control.

:: AVR Freaks – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. GarrettM says:

    Here’s a similar concept I used a few years ago: PlexiCam. It was made with three pieces of acrylic, softened with a blowtorch and bent. The top servo acts as one pivot, and a small bolt supports the other side. Mine used the guts of a camera built right into the pan/tilt mount, but you could rotate that assembly 90 degrees and put a camera on top. The controller is a PIC16F84, serial controlled, and used a custom application I wrote with location bookmarking capability. I’ve been meaning to draw up some cutout designs for plastic sheeting so others can build this….

  2. C@PPER says:

    There’s plenty more where this came from….


  3. C@PPER says:

    Oops, typed the link wrong.