Mocoa - Photographic Motion Control

A low cost photographic motion control platform for anyone from the hardened maker to the photography hobbyist
Jay Miley
Santa Barbara, California
United States
1 Team Member

Attention all prospective funders!

The choppiness in the timelapse of the tree branch is a result of how close the camera was and how far the dolly moved each time. This is not a limitation of the board, just a limitation of how I set up that timelapse. I'll have a better demo of what it can do sometime in the next fiew days. Stay tuned!


About Me

I am  a 17 year old High School Senior. Over the past twelve months I have been off and on designing my own timelapse dolly, and it has culminated in the Mocoa board.

Mocoa makes it quick and easy to get an advanced Photographic Motion Control system up and running

What is Mocoa?

Mocoa is a MOtion COntrol AVR board. A common dolly will have a track, a stand system (usually tripods), a cart, and a brain. Mocoa is the brain.

The chip comes preloaded with the Arduino bootloader and is programmable over both USB and 6-pin AVR ISP. It interfaces with common MoCo components without the need for extra circuitry.

  • HD44780 LCD display
  • 5 switches/pushbuttons
  • 3 potentiometers
  • 1 Easydriver or drop in replacement
  • 3 servos
  • 1 camera via a two channel optoisolator (detailed in a later post)

Mocoa is based off of Atmel's atmega32u4 microprocessor. It runs at 16 Mhz and has 32k of program memory. I designed the board to follow arduino's UNO layout. If you already have an enclosure, no need to get a new one.

Why choose Mocoa?

It's easy.

Program it using the Arduino IDE and get going with little to no experience in the world of programming. The language is easy to learn, and can start doing what you want in a short time. There are even some graphical programmers for arduino. If you don't want to write any code, use the code I developed. Or use someone else's!

It's customizable.

Make your own enclosure, your own application, your own system. Just hook up the components, upload the code, and you're ready to go.

It's inexpensive.

Other moco platforms can cost much more and be much less expandable. The MX2, for instance, costs $225. With Mocoa, you can do the same thing for around $100.

It's open.

Once funding closes I will be releasing both the Eagle and Gerber files. I will also release the baseline code that includes a setting for controlling both DC and Stepper motor types.

It's not just for dollies.

Mocoa has extra ports — even with 5 buttons, an lcd, a camera, and a motor driver hooked up, you still have 5 unused broken out ports. TX & RX for serial communication as well as 3 servo ports (Just solder on some header). This means you can integrate more things into your project. Maybe a pan/tilt module by itself, maybe a pan tilt module on a dolly. The possibilities are endless.

What are the other rewards?

  • The DC motor driver is a drop in replacement for the easydriver based off of the L293D H-bridge
  • The Mocoa platform is a fully enclosed, ready to use timelapse dolly platform. Acrylic is lasercut into a box and the box is assembled with all the components and connectors inside. It connects to a stepper or dc motor (your choice!) via 1/8" mono plugs and connects to the camera with a 3/32" stereo jack. Just add a motorized slider system and you'll be up and running in no time.
  • The Eager Beaver is a way for me to get rid of the extra beta boards. My first iteration of Mocoa came as a pack of 10 boards. I will assemble some by hand, as per demand, and ship them off quickly after funding closes. These have a different layout (which I will post later on), but work just fine. The platform in the video is running off of one of these
  • The Eager Beaver Platform is a control box identical to the one shown in the video. It will ship much sooner than the other platforms.

What does is look like? 

I've decided to let funders vote on the color. But I have made some renders using Eagle3d, a free rendering script for eagle.

mocoa rendering

What's the risk?

There isn't much. I have a fully functioning prototype and have multiple quotes for manufacture and assembly from GoldPheonix.

What happens if I don't make my goal?

The goal I have set will allow me to purchase 50 assembled boards. If I don't reach my goal, I will either order a smaller quantity of asssembled boards or purchase only the PCBs and assemble them by hand. 
Find This Campaign On
raised by 1 person in 1 month
2% funded
0 time left
$2,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 7, 2012
Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    DC motor driver

    A drop-in Easydriver replacement that can drive two DC motors

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2013
  • $50USD

    A single Mocoa board. No motor driver or peripherals included

    1 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2013
  • $60USD
    Eager Beaver Mocoa

    A beta Mocoa board -- shipped soon after funding closes.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2012
  • $130USD
    Mocoa platform

    Timelapse dolly control box, ready to go. Specify DC or Stepper motor type

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2013
  • $150USD
    Eager Beaver Platform

    A fully functional Mocoa platform in a Mark I enclosure

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2012
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