Lil-Mule: Professional Time Lapse and Video Camera Dolly

Warren Herndon fromSan Jose, CA designed an intuitive, affordable, heavy duty camera platform for creating arced or linear camera moves when shooting time lapse and video. At the moment a sum of $30,888 is pledged of $15,000 goal by 64 backers. What a great success! If you want to help the project, you can do it until January, 31. You can connect with the creator on Instagram, Twitter or visit his official website.

Most time lapse dolly systems are based on the “slider” concept which is a rail with a moving platform attached that slides the camera back and forth on the rail. The main limitations of sliders are having a finite length (usually 3-4 feet) and only making linear camera movements. The Lil-Mule addresses both of these challenges by giving you a self contained motorized cart that makes straight or curved moves and can motor as far as the surface you set the shot up on will allow. Take a walk through a city center or park and you can rattle off many different shots in a small amount of time by rolling on sidewalks, tables, ledges, benches, anything that is relatively flat.

Here’s a shot of Lil-Mule rolling on side walk at a park near Warren’s shop…

As an amateur time lapse enthusiastWarrenfinds that it’s challenging enough to set up your camera, compose the shot, set the intervalometer, etc. when doing time lapse. He wanted the motion control piece to be as simple as possible. The controller for the Lil-Mule is a single knob which allows you to variably control the speed you are moving in the forward and backward direction. No math equations, no menu settings, just set up your shot and twist a knob to start moving… Even the professional time lapse guys that Warren put Lil-Mule in the hands of for testing said the first thing they did on a shoot was drop the dolly and set it in motion and then went about setting up their other rigs…

Motion control systems are expensive! You’ll be hard pressed to find one that is under $1000 and they can range to up near $20K. If you decide to make a pledge and help the little Lil-Mule project reach it’s funding goal, you’ll be able to add a quality american made motion control system to your creative arsenal for just over $500!

Will Lil-Mule work with my camera gear?


Warren Herndon is a product designer and prototype builder living inSan Jose,CA. He received his B.S. in Industrial Design in 2001 fromSan JoseStateUniversity. Since 2008, he’s been combining his love of product design with his interest in film making and photography. He has full service design, CNC manufacturing, prototyping, and model making studio right in San Jose which is where he can be found most of the time.


The design of the Lil-Mule camera dolly is based on CNC manufactured parts for almost all of its components. The moneyWarrenhopes to raise will be used to meet the manufacturing minimum requirements on the computer controller board and motors for Lil-Mule. By buying in bulk, economies of scale allow for the overall price to be as affordable as possible. Raw materials have already been sourced locally. The other hardware and even the elastomer wheels have also been sourced here in California.

If you have any questions after watching the video and reading the information above, please feel free to sendWarrena message or post a question. Thank you for your support!

Source: KickStarter