Open-Source Robotic Arm Now Within Reach

For anyone looking for a capable robotic arm for automation of an industrial process, education, or just a giant helping hand for a really big soldering project, most options available can easily break the bank. [Mads Hobye] and the rest of the folks at FabLab RUC have tackled this problem, and have come up with a very capable, inexpensive, and open-source industrial arm robot that can easily be made by anyone.

The robot itself is Arduino-based and has the option to attach any end effector that might be needed for a wide range of processes. The schematics for all of the parts are available on the project site along with all of the Arduino source code. [Mads Hobye] notes that they made this robot during a three-day sprint, so it shouldn’t take very long to get your own up and running. There’s even a virtual robot that can be downloaded and used with the regular robot code, which can be used for testing or for simply getting the feel for the robot without having to build it.

This is a great project, and since it’s open source it will be great for students, small businesses, and hobbyists alike. The option to attach any end effector is also a perk, and we might suggest trying out [Yale]’s tendon-driven robotic hand. Check after the break for a video of this awesome robot in action.

14 thoughts on “Open-Source Robotic Arm Now Within Reach

  1. $1000 is not super cheap (where $500 goes in the electronics and stepper, $500 for the rest ? ), it miss any bearings or sleeves. Specially on the base rotation, they should add 3 roller to avoid any tilting.

  2. Nice, but the physical hardware is not the part that’s been lacking- for example, the Microbot Teachmover was introduced in 1980 (I think), and you can still buy it (though the current model is almost $6000, a polished product that is designed for a educational environment). I got a used one on ebay for less than 5% of the new price, and I’m not sure if it was a bargain. We still have a long way to go in the software to drive them to do useful things, beyond what is essentially macros.

    There are things like ROS, a great (and necessary) start, but really- it’s like telling someone that needs a word processor that all they need is the Linux kernel. The tools are all there, but, the path to useful general purpose robotics is still mostly unknown. Most if the work is ahead.

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