Internet controlled robotic arm

The guys over at Rusty Nail Workshop have put up an Internet controlled robotic arm for your amusement. While you’re waiting for the turkey to be done (or, you know, working), try your hand at moving some LEGO pieces around with a remote-controlled robotic arm.

The build log goes through the parts needed for the build. The arm itself is a Lynxmotion AL-5D, a heavy-duty device that’s far more capable and looks a lot better than our old Armatron.

The arm is controlled by an Arduino Uno. The Arduino is connected to the arm’s servo controller. Movement commands are received by an Ethernet shield and translated into servo commands. The entire build runs independently of a computer just like this project’s inspiration, the Orbduino.

Of course you can imagine the mayhem that would ensue if multiple people tried to take control of the robot simultaneously. A bit of code on the project’s website makes sure only one person has control of the robot at any given time. Check out what somebody else is building out of LEGO blocks with a Waldo. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to knock that work down.


  1. Icarus says:

    actually tilt is for up/down (or vertical) motion
    rotate would be the correct word in this case

    nice build

  2. Cosmo says:


    A pretty cool thing to play with, though.
    I would’ve used Java for the controls/webcam feedback.

    90 seconds isn’t enough time to get the hang of controlling the arm and moving the pieces around.

  3. Techartisan says:

    “The arm itself is a Lynxmotion AL-5D, a heavy-duty device that’s far more capable and looks a lot better than our old Armatron.”

    Ill agree that it is likely more capable…but looks alot better? no way. Servo Brackets and tubes pale in comparison to the awesome aesthetics of the Armatron! One of my favorite ebay purchases…bought mine with all accessories still in the box $60 delivered.

    If only the mobile armatron hadnt lost one degree of freedom in the shoulder :(

    Tomy really needs to ReBoot the mobile armatron with two arms…using the original armatron specs and wifi :) Maybe call it the Omnibot 2012 LOL

  4. eresonance says:

    God damn, 90sec isn’t that much time given how slow it is. I was trying to drop the lego man out of bounds :(

  5. Ryan says:

    I find it hard to describe any arm as “heavy duty” or “capable” when it is made from hobby servos…

  6. Halexander says:

    Someone should do a timelapse video of what people do with this robot arm.

  7. Chris says:

    I am looking for an internet controlled robotic arm for my friend to play DnD from far away. How do I buy one or are there schematics with programming floating around?

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