Roller Camera Cross-campus collaboration gives student the means to pursue his dreams of being an independent filmmaker


Thursday, May 23, 2019

The D'Vonte Johnson Rally Rig is a device that will allow the client, D’vonte Johnson, to film from his wheelchair, despite having cerebral palsy. The frame is built from extruded aluminum, and customized to fit his wheelchair. The camera is attached to a gimbal for stabilization and active pan and tilt control, and the gimbal is attached to a linear actuator which is used to provide vertical movement. Additionally, a control box attached to the arm rest allows D’vonte to control the system directly from his wheelchair. The Rally Rig will allow D’vonte to realize his dream of becoming a filmmaker where it previously seemed impossible.

D’Vonte Johnson has wanted to be a filmmaker since he was 7. The odds have not been in his favor. Born with cerebral palsy, he uses a motorized, custom wheelchair that he controls with a joystick. His voice is halting and raspy.
His mind, though — that’s another story. A fourth-year film and media studies student at UC Santa Barbara, Johnson is bright, focused and knows what he wants.
Just ask Matt DeVogelaere. His simple act of kindness set in motion a cross-campus collaboration of engineering students, a Kickstarter campaign and a crew of supporters committed to finding a way for Johnson to realize his dream of becoming a truly independent filmmaker. They would build the Rally Rig.
“It’s crazy that a few months ago it was an idea, and now that idea is coming to fruition,” Johnson said. “It’s magic almost.”
To view the complete story, please read Roller Camera by Jim Logan published in The Current.
To see more about our capstone teams please visit our UCSB Mechanical Engineering Capstone website 

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