Our own Matt Mets just pointed me at OpenMoco, a fantastic online resource for those interested in building and experimenting with moving time-lapse or other DIY photographic motion control applications. They have a bunch of downloadable software and, most interesting to me, promulgate a “reference design” that really helps to quickly wrap your head around the various applications and their hardware and software elements:
The OpenMoCo Reference Design was originally created by Chris Church (shutterdrone) for experimenting with steppers and motion controls for timelapse use. It has since grown to support different forms of motion control, such as gigapixel panoramas, stereoscopic shooting, and more, and has been adapted by many individuals to their specific needs.
The Reference Design is composed of at least one Engine, Interface, and Element. The Engine components run on the low-cost AVR-based Arduino hardware platform, while the Interfaces can run on anything from specialized touch-screen interfaces to PCs, laptops, and netbooks, and the Elements are specialized hardware constructs designed to make motion control easy and affordable. Elements under control can be anything from a motor-driven motion axis, to a camera, or even flashes and other equipment.