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Thread: robotic arm

  1. robotic arm

    I'm fairly new to the robotics world. I love to tinker around and build things. My son and i built a robotic car that would change direction when it heard a sound and now we want to try something bigger. I want to try to build (rebuild) a robotic arm. It’s a project that my son and I can work on and then I want to use it at work for certain repetitive jobs. It needs to lift a few pounds and be able to repeat a motion with accuracy. any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: robotic arm

    Welcome to the forum!

    You didn't tell us how long the arm needs to be, what kind of "repetitive jobs", how you define "accuracy" [or more precisely, "precision"], or what your budget is. In the "few pounds" neighborhood, given the need for precision, I'm expecting your budget is in the several thousand dollar neighborhood, correct?
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  3. Re: robotic arm

    thank you!

    This seems to be the place to get our project started. Well....it should be able to reach 18 inches (or so), i would like to repeat a motion within.. .1". budget? don't know? What do you think of the Scorbot? could i rebuild it to run on different software? or just use the frame?

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    Re: robotic arm

    I would suggest putting together the least expensive arm you can probably with "Servo Erector Set" brackets and reasonably inexpensive servos, and then perfecting the IK [Inverse Kinematics] that will be required. We've got a couple people here that are pretty darned good with IK - that's not me for sure. It'd stink to put together a few grand worth of arm and then discover that you can't get functional IK. Build it in scale is generally my advice.
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  5. Re: robotic arm

    sounds like good advice. Would i use the same software on both? or could i upgrade the set to handle more weight?

  6. #6
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    Re: robotic arm

    At the weight and repeatability you're looking to handle, you're going to need to get outside of the hobby realm and closer to the industrial realm, so the materials involved will be entirely different. Anything you write will need to be modified, but with good code practices you'll keep the "brainsurgery/rocketscience" part, the IK. You can frequently find a decent industrial arm on fleabay in need of some servicing for the price of a cheap used car.

    I suggest you check-out CrustCrawler's SmartArm as a good place to start. The "basic kit" for $728 will teach you if you want to spend the time and money going forward. And it's a pretty cool arm to boot.

    This is kinda simplistic pre-programmed moves, but it would get you started: http://share.crustcrawler.com/Norris...lockSorter.htm

    That's done on the older CrustCrawler arm and isn't plug-and-play on the newer arms. Very little in the IK department there, just move-to-preprogrammed position and move back. But then, it's just a short little basic script too.
    Last edited by Adrenalynn; 04-06-2009 at 02:05 AM.
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  7. Re: robotic arm

    have you messed around with a Scorbot arm?

  8. #8
    Semicton Guest

    Re: robotic arm

    I'm working with simple hobby 645-mg servos, SES brackets and phidgets. My setup Certainly can't lift a few pounds but it's a great place to start even if you want to slap it down in a remote location with a simple net book and have direct control and program it for certain tasks on-the-fly.

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