Ufactory Delivers its New Arm Crowdfunding.


uFactory, is releasing their 3rd generation arm, the “Swift” which looks to be a nice improvement on their previous arm the uArm metal (Note: I own a uArm Metal and reviewed it here).   The uArm was traditionally a servo based arm, which, if you read this blog, know that I am not the biggest fan of.  However, this time around they are delivering a “Pro” version which has both steppers and encoders.  This can provide a series of benefits:

  • Improved accuracy, linearity and repeatability even when bumped or overloaded
  • The ability to manage acceleration, deceleration
  • Allows a training mode where the arm can record the position you put it in (this is done with the encoders, not the steppers)

In addition it looks like they have added a few more nice capabilities to the uArm including:

  • Improved Software (the software in the first version was already pretty nice.)
  • Different end-effectors including a claw and a laser marking head.

I wish them luck, the product looks like a winner and has already exceeded the funding goals.  The link the the Indiegogo site is here.



Not Just another Robot Arm on Kickstarter

Another open source robot arm has cropped up on Kickstarter, It seems to have 6 DoF which is nice.  Surprisingly it uses brushless DC motors and Hypocycloidal gearboxes that they claim are backdriveable.  This is a serious step up from the hobby servos many arms use but there are lots of tradeoffs with hypocycloids which need to be overcome.   The motion looks a bit jerky right now as well, so I suspect some more work needs to be done either on software or hardware.  All said though, the ambitiousness of the design and price point has me intrigued.

Thor – Another nice 3D Printed Robotic Arm


Hackaday.io has attracted another nice robotic arm project to it’s site.  This is arm is a very nice, open source design that makes clever use of a differential to combine 2 degrees of motion into a single joint.  I also appreciate that he was good enough to go through the inverse kinematic model that defines this arm.  Inverse kinematics is a mathmatical method to figure out arm angles required for the end effector (the gripper in this case) to be in a certain location.  More at this link

Security Enhancements to Robotarm.org

I have added some long overdue security enhancements to robotarm.org.  First is that the site now supports HTTPS, for those that dont know, this provides for the authentication and encryption of the packets that travel between your browser and our servers to prevent an observer in the middle from seeing your traffic.  For those who are curious, I am using a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt.   Second is that I have added a security question for new sign-ins is likely most cannot be answered without research. While I expect this second one to slow down adoption of this community, ultimately I think those who do choose to sign up will see less spam and enjoy the community more.  If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below.

First Robot Arm

Hi There,

I am here because I just began my journey into robotic arms recently. Although I have a bit of a long history with robotics, specifically last year april 2015 I designed an arm. I dont know much about programming or electronics, but I do know a bit about cad and fabrication.


So this year, on march 2016 I was finally able to afford the cost of waterjet cutting some of the parts as well as buying most of the components I needed. Im not yet ready to start programming since I am still missing about half the arm.

In any case, Id like to start discussing several topics related to my project. Specifically, my main objective is to install a cutting/milling tool on the end of the arm to cut through at least 1/4″ thick aluminum.

One friend of mine commented that in machining there are alot of vibrations and thus the robot arm wont handle it too well. Since Im just starting out I think first I need to finish the arm, then learn to program it, then learn to interface it with cam software, then start cutting, and lastly start improving it.

So yeah, thats my first question, what should I do about programming the arm ?

I have arduino on my laptop, have an uno board with a grbl shield, and 4 steppers. Any advice ?


2DoF Arm Motion

It has been a little while since I have made any progress, but with the summer’s vacations and other activities out of the way, I have a chance to buckle down and get some stuff done.  This is actually the first time I have gotten motion with the arm with the new electronics.  All seems to be working fine, except for a few issues with multistepper (Arduino Library).  Next is getting the pen going.

Note – you will notice the steppers are making a bit too much noise, I just haven’t set them up properly, that will change soon.

2 DoF arm end effector.

The 2 degree of freedom arm end effector is nearly complete.  Here it is controlling a pen up/down motion.  The current design depends on gravity to bring the pen down which is probably ideal for felt tip pens and the like.   It uses a micro servo to drive the pen upward.  The design is 3D Printed and the files will be uploaded to Github shortly.  More coming soon…


Open Source Robot Arm Community