Cameras and Gimbals

Copter, Plane and Rover support up to 3-axis gimbals, including advance features like automated aiming of the camera at a Region of Interest (ROI), and automatic triggering of a camera shutter. Follow the links below to explanations of how to configure gimbals and shutter triggering.


Gimbals and gimbal controllers

ArduPilot supports both brushless direct drive gimbals (Tarot, SimpleBGC, SToRM32) that have their own self-stabilization controllers and the simpler servo-driven gimbals in which ArduPilot controls the stabilisation.

  • Tarot Gimbal — an inexpensive 2-axis brushless gimbal controller that is controlled using PWM signals.
  • SimpleBGC (aka AlexMos) Gimbal - a popular 2-axis or 3-axis brushess gimbal controller which uses a custom serial interface.
  • SToRM32 Gimbal Controller — an inexpensive 2-axis or 3-axis brushless gimbal controller which responds to MAVLink commands (a richer format than PWM) over a serial interface.
  • Servo Gimbals — older-style servo-driven gimbal where ArduPilot provides stabilisation.

Camera shutter triggering

ArduPilot allows you to configure the camera shutter output port (servo, relay). In camera mission planning you can specify when the camera shutter should trigger, or a distance that the vehicle should travel between shots.

Camera manufacturers use their own mechanisms for remote control of the camera (including its shutter). The topics explain how to configure the camera shutter, and list a number of different approaches for converting the output signal into the form expected by your particular camera: