In this video, I show off a project I've been working on for a while: a homemade motorized panoramic tripod head.
A few things not mentioned in the video:
I originally didn't use a belt design for driving the two axes, and instead started with a worm gear system. Though the worm gear system had higher reduction over the current belt-driven design (which allows for better precision in positioning the camera), it was significantly less robust and more bulky than simply using belts.
The camera and lens combination shown in the thumbnail (and near the end of the video) weighs approximately 8 pounds.
Devices available commercially that support payloads of this weight and have similar features (such as the GigaPan Epic Pro) usually cost around $900-1000. I didn't keep a close tally, but the cost of this project was probably around $250-300.
My next major goal with this device is to take a 10 gigapixel panorama using the device in its current state. (EDIT: I have now taken a 12 gigapixel panorama with this device). After that, I plan on developing an Android app to control the device over Bluetooth.