Automation Blog

Low-Cost, Heavy-Duty Gimbal Made From Rotary Stages

Over the years, we’ve built and shipped hundreds of gimbal assemblies that perform precision positioning of medium to heavy payloads. These units have relied on several types of drivetrains, all of which differ from the direct drives used in light-duty drone camera gimbals.

For heavy payloads, we’ve created gimbals driven by worm or spur gears. Harmonic drives are also a good, though expensive, option for heavy-duty gimbal assemblies. For medium payloads, we’ve delivered belt-driven gimbals.

All these design approaches work well, but there is a price to pay in terms of the weight, size and cost of the gimbal assembly.

Another way to make a high-performance gimbal is to combine two of our off-the-shelf rotary positioning stages—a ServoBelt™ Rotary 25 and a ServoBelt™ Rotary 16. We connect the two rotary stages and provide a mounting location for the payload using low-cost aluminum brackets that can quickly and easily be customized for the application at hand.

ServoBelt Rotary stages are designed with low reduction ratios, improving inertia matching as payloads grow and ensuring high slew rates through the gimbal’s operating range. The use of off-the-shelf stages also reduces cost compared to gimbal designs that require a custom drivetrain.

Check out the video below to see how the ServoBelt Rotary gimbal works.


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