Steadicam stabilizers have been used in motion picture production since 1975. When small DV cameras emerged, a number of handheld stabilizers emerged. I’ve seen more than a few DIY camera stabilizers over the past few years. I think it all started with one very similar to this one.
The primary difference here, is most every commercial stabilizer uses a gimbal and a roller bearing. A gimbal is basically like a universal joint in a car’s drive train, allowing connected shafts to pivot in any direction. The roller bearing allows rotation around the vertical axis.
This is one of the few than closely matches the design of a popular commercial unit. I’m tempted to build one myself. I’d love to hear from anyone that builds one of these for themselves.