Pico Flex Table Dolly – DIY Motorized + Lasers

I was testing this about a week ago, but finally published it to the public. Taking all the same little electronics from the JuicedLink DIY slider project (continuous servo, servo driver, and battery case) the little Pico Flex dolly is moving on it's own. The speed is variable and with the size of the pulley. It can go really slow, but what you see is the fastest setting it will go. A piece of scrap acrylic plastic and double sided tape was all that was used to mount it temporarily while I try to figure out the cheapest and best way to drive this thing.

A rubber band pulley system didn't do so well. The band would stretch and when there was enough tension built up, it would snap back causing a jerking motion. The direct drive was the simplest way to turn the Pico wheels and was much more consistent. Using this technique could apply to all existing Pico Flex Dollies without replacing any existing parts. The servo is extremely strong and since the Pico moves with little effort, it can move quite a bit of weight.

Another Clever Pico Flex Dolly Modification - Motorized + Lasers

YouTube Member dim3m has motorized the Pico Flex, and has also added lasers for an easy way to identify the rotating axis. This is a common practice used in those high end three wheel skater type dollies. By aligning the axles with the lasers, the cross path will be the center of rotation. This is where you need to focus your camera. Right now the lasers are just temporarily being held on with Friction arms as a proof of concept. [Thanks dim3m] You can find pen lasers fairly cheap these days in just about any store, but if you're lazy they can be found online for about $1.49 (click here)

Mini Laser
find-price-button Mini Pen Laser KeyChains

11 thoughts on “Pico Flex Table Dolly – DIY Motorized + Lasers

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Cliff - I purchased the wheel from Servo City also. It's designed to fit directly to the servo. I'll try to find the link.

  2. Cliff

    Em, nice test. I want to try what you did. Can you post a link for a wheel that would work with the continuous servo motor that you were using in the Direct Wheel Drive test? Using your parts list from another post, I've ordered everything that you've suggested but you didn't post any details about what wheel to use. Did you use an RC wheel? A robotics wheel? Something else? Thanks.

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  4. Rob

    Amazing that they would shine the lasers into the audience like that. Even low power lasers like laser pointers can damage the retinas. A bunch of ravers in Russia got blinded during a concert when the promoters shone lasers into the audience.

  5. That's great stuff. I got the same idea to use those parts. Just waiting on my servo. I'll be mounting it differently. I'll let you know when its done and share it here. And again....great stuff!

  6. Jayhas

    Good test Emm, at finding out what works and what don't.

    I think this is where a remote control setup would be most ideal because you don't have to touch the rig when starting.

    I have that dual drive controller. Operating those tiny knobs manually to get to a desired speed without upsetting your initial setup would be a hit and miss. Just my two cents.

  7. kevin

    Have you tried a belt instead of a rubber band? That way you could glue a gear onto a wheel (for belts with groves) and not wear down one wheel over another (although if you only flex the wheels into one direction, you will still have an uneven wear between the inside wheels and outside)

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