I’m finally getting back to the GoPro dog harness. I recently bought a canine back pack to replace the harness that didn’t work very well.
This pack had a chest strap and a belly strap which should help keep it from slipping. I might also put some ballast into the pack to help keep it stable.
Since I’ve had plenty of time to think about this project, it occurred to me that it would be cool to have a gimbal for it like I do for the quadcopter to keep the camera stable. The idea of an electronic gimbal on a dog is just silly. Then it occurred to me I’ve seen simple mechanical gimbals and that is definitely all I need for this project.
So here is the rough design for the gimbal mechanism for Dog Harness 2.0. Now I just need to figure out how to implement the idea.
Here is the printed camera mount:
This worked reasonably well, but the 3D print of the riser delaminated when the dog hit something. Back to the drawing board, but I’m getting closer.
Jul 27 Edit: I built the riser out of aluminum. The back plate (attaches under the harness, I made much longer to provide much better stability so the camera would not fall backwards or forwards. I then built plastic supports that I riveted into the harness so the camera couldn’t possibly fall to either side.
It is much closer to working, but I still have continuous problems with the harness wanting to rotate so the camera is to one side or the other. I put the pack on over the harness and loaded it with 2 water bottles on either side, but the problem persists.
Right now my thought is to put some lead weights on either side of the harness to help keep it from rotating. But I will think about it for a while.
Oct 2014 Update:
I finished the harness a few months ago but decided to wait for the real test in October when the leaves have changed.
I did put heavy lead weights on either side and that helped to an extent. When the dog runs, the harness will still end up trying to rotate after several minutes. I could probably cinch it tighter, but the dog wouldn’t appreciate that.
I also decided the pendulum idea just wasn’t going to work. I tried to tighten the screw so that it would slow the swinging. It did do that, but it still was just too shaky.
The final test went s0-so. If the dog walks, the harness works great. It stays in position and the video is pretty clear. If the dog runs (which is what he will be doing for what I really want to record), the motion is very jerky from the camera getting jerked around. This would be a great application for a 3 axis gimbal, but that is way over budget on this project!
Here is the video of the harness in action. The jerkiness of the camera seems to overwhelm youtube’s compression algorithm making the video rather blotchy. The original video may be jerky, but it is clear.
The video does have some stills of the harness as well.