Supplying the drive for wildlife film maker’s camera

Paul Boughton

Ondrives Ltd is collaborating with film maker Martin Dohrn. Martin is responsible for designing, building and funding pieces of kit that support camera and video equipment through his company Ammonite Ltd.

Core elements of this equipment have been purchased from Ondrives Ltd to assist in the production of such television programmes as David Attenborough’s most recent Life in the Undergrowth.

Various Ondrives worm wheel reduction P type gearboxes & LA8 type lead screw actuators have been designed into an assembly, called Frankencam, by Ammonite Ltd for use on Life in the Undergrowth to form a platform from which all sorts of cameras and video equipment can be mounted to film or view a particular shot.  

The design of the actuators is based on a modular system which means they are easily changeable from one position to another. They were chosen by Ammonite Ltd as they provide precise, vibration free and backlash free motion as at this scale, even a tiny bump can ruin a shot.  Ammonite Ltd state they work extremely well in these environments, which can be muddy grasses, bumpy terrain or even the jungle!

Frankencam is just one of eight similar camera and video assemblies built by Ammonite Ltd using Ondrives gearboxes and lead screw actuators. Both Guppycam and Antcam have been used on various TV wildlife projects, which include In Search of Killer Ants, part of the Natural History series, amongst others. 

Ondrives Ltd is based in Chesterfield, UK.


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