Have you heard about the robotarm from Universal Robots – the Danish company that manufactures super user-friendly industrial robots. Their robots are highly collaborative and versatile as they perform various taks in an open environments. They don’t even have to work in a enclosure since they have builtin sensors protecting the human operators.
UR robots are cheaper than other industrial robots but the hobbyist would still find them a massive investment.
Did you know that it is possible to build your own Arduino or Raspberry Pi powered robotarm for under 30-200$. A robotarm is a fantastic DIY project and you can also mount them on autonomous or RC controlled rovers.
The robotarms comes in different degrees of possible movements – some can only move in 4 different directions whereas the more advanced can move in 6 directions. Kits are often label 4DOF and 6DOF – DOF is abbreviation of Degree of Freedom (directions) – I would recommend a 6DOF arm since it is more versatile and can be reused in your future projects.
What kit to buy
I recommend this Robotarm Clamp Claw Mount Kit with servos – the cheaper kits often comes without servos.
I recommend 6DOF aluminium Robotarm with servos, Alu. Robotarm kit complete with servos.
When shopping for a robotic arm remember the following:
- DOF – the more possible directions the better. I recommend minimum 4DOF but 6DOF is clearly the best
- Servos – if the robotarm kit has servos then only buy metal gear servos, the plastic servos will be worn very fast
- Arduino and Raspbery compatible – this is essential as the kit should be open and possible to connect to your existing DIY projects. Avoid kits that has specialized ARM processors and other integrated MCUs since you will have hard time customizing them later
- Gripping power – the most simple kits can barely lift a pencil or a little wooden block. The best kits is made of aluminium for strength and uses powerful metalgear servo motors
- Don’t arms made from plastic or acrylic since they will break