Mounting the HackHD camera on the Actobot Rover

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

A little while ago, we discovered a cool new high definition video camera called the Hack HD. Think of it as the internal circuit board and camera lens of a 1080P GoPro camera, but unlike a GoPro, it’s designed to be hacked and tinkered with. It’s small and easy to embed into your own project. They even provide screw terminals for wiring it up. It’s also cheaper than a GoPro, which most people are leery of taking apart because of its price tag. The Hack HD records video to a micro SD card. It also sends VGA video through its Video Out wires. On our Actobot rover, we’ve wired the Video Out to a long distance transmitter  and a pair of FatShark Video Goggles so that we can drive around remotely via First Person View (FPV)(more on that in a later post).


We used our CNC Mill to machine a custom case for the Hack HD so that we could mount it on the Actobot’s pan/tilt turret.


Actobot with HackHD 1

Actobot With HackHD 2

We should note that the Hack HD only has one lens (as shown in the photo at the top of this posting), but we wanted to experiment with giving the Actobot “eyes” so we built a false lens into the case.

With the completion of this case, our Actobot’s pan-tilt turret can now be quick-changed between three different video options : a WiFi camera, a GoPro, or a HackHD.


Comments (12)

  1. Drago
    January 23rd, 2014

    Nice piece of kit. What about stereo vision?

  2. admin
    January 23rd, 2014

    Yeah, maybe next time we’ll go for 3D videography. 🙂

  3. Paul Brown
    January 23rd, 2014

    A red wig would be appropriate, and cool.

  4. Paul Brown
    January 23rd, 2014

    Robots to assist handicapped and aged people will become an important and essential market as longevity continues to advance into the 90’s and 100’s. Current assisted living facilities are now in the range of $100,000.00 per year. In-home caretakers can cost $50,000 to $70,000.00 per year. I know. At 91, I am almost there.

  5. Julie Holtan
    January 23rd, 2014

    Really cool!

  6. John DiPonio
    January 23rd, 2014

    Nice job girls (and Rob). Looks like a fun robot to roam around with. The fatsharks should work great with the camera.

  7. bobbyB.
    January 24th, 2014

    Are those channel pieces from Actobotics? That robot is beautiful! I would love to see more photos of just the chassis and learn more about it.

  8. admin
    January 24th, 2014

    Thanks, BobbyB. We appreciate it! You’ll find more info on the rover chassis, including a detailed list of all the parts we used, on this page:

  9. Patrick
    January 25th, 2014


  10. Actobot « Beatty Robotics
    January 28th, 2014

    […] Update: We designed a custom case for the Hack HD camera. […]

  11. Mike
    March 18th, 2015

    Could the video transmitter be wires such that it sends video over wifi? would like use this camera and be able to control my robot from my pc.

  12. Camille
    March 19th, 2015

    Mike: Yes, it could be. But if you want to transmit video over wifi, I would look into using a wireless wifi camera like the one we’ve attached to the Actobot in some of these pictures (the wifi camera is shown in white):

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