Dainty Delta Is About As Small As A Robot Can Be

There’s something mesmerizing about delta robots. Whether they are used at a stately pace for a 3D-printer or going so fast you can barely see them move in a pick and place machine, the way that three rotary actuators can work together to produce motion in three axes is always a treat to watch. Especially with a delta robot as small as this one.

[KarelK16] says this is one of those “just because I can” projects with no real application. And he appears to have been working on it for a while; the video below is from eight years ago. Regardless, the post is new, and it’s pretty interesting stuff. The tiny ball joints used in the arms are made from jewelry parts; small copper crank arms connect the three upper arms to micro-servos. The manipulator [KarelK16] attached is very clever, too – rather than load down the end of the arms with something heavy, a fourth servo opens an closes a flexible plastic grasper through a Bowden cable. It’s surprisingly nimble, and grasps small objects firmly.

There are certainly bigger deltas – much bigger – and more useful ones, too, but we really like this build. And who knows – perhaps model robotics will join model railroading as a hobby someday. If it does, [KarelK16]’s diminutive delta might be the shape of things to come.

8 thoughts on “Dainty Delta Is About As Small As A Robot Can Be

  1. This really does demonstrate how to cost down a CNC or 3D printer. Loose the linear bearings and rails and all f a sudden there is so much room in the budget.

    Arc Deltas are fast and ideal for low load CNC applications like 3D printing.

    There is even code out there to do the delta kinematics even on an 8-bitter like RAMPS.

    This is my favorite –
    Which can be found here –

  2. Imagining a series of these, scaled in size, for working on haptic assisted microassembly. Specifically watch assembly. Thinking when I get too old to work on them someday, small deltas like this could help.

    1. Imagine a delta 10m across with an accuracy of 10cm moving a head mounted with a delta 1m across with an accuracy of 1mm moving a head mounted with a delta 10cm across with an accuracy of 0.001mm. The math would be a nightmare to deal with, but the combination of volume, speed, and accuracy would be second to none.

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