Future development – Before we deliver our project to our client, we intend to add two limit switches to the tilt platform to prevent it from contacting the supports and stalling the tilt-motion motor. The motor with its’ integral plastic gear train, is quite powerful (2,995 in-oz. or over 15.5 lb-ft of torque). If it is stalled, it is capable of shredding the final gears in the gear train. In fact, we believe this is what happened just before our display at Exploration Place. Some safety improvements would need to be made before the project could be released commercially. Specifically, the tilt platform gears should be covered and the pinch injury potential between the tilt platform and its’ supports needs to be evaluated.

Redesign – The camera mount is a commercially available piece that provides manual, three-axis motion and quick disconnect for the camera. The quick disconnect is needed by our client, and the ability to rotate the camera from a landscape orientation to a portrait orientation was also requested. The part we purchased has the capability needed, but the three-axis freedom is over-kill. The camera mount also moves the camera up several inches, affecting the mounting system. This raising of the camera also affected the stop-position holding of the tilt platform, requiring us to go with the highest torque (and thus slowest) motor we could buy. A much simpler and lower profile camera mount, with quick disconnect and only one-axis motion would be very useful.

The project we produced is obviously a prototype, made with the tools and materials that were available to us in the senior-design lab. We’re not manufacturing engineers, but it seems plausible that design for manufacturing could reduce the part count and simplify the assembly of the device. Injection molding might offer great manufacturing cost savings in large scale production.

The control program we are using is quite simple, and the full Arduino processor may be over-kill. A custom integrated circuit could provide adequate functionality and savings in size and power requirements.

Added functionality – Based on the comments of our client, it seems that we hit the spot of meeting her requirements and desires.

Unneeded complexity – The rotating platform of the device is capable of continuous 360 degree rotation. This could lead to problems with excessive twisting of the motor power wires. It may be possible to control this through programming.