I had a great day on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at MakerCon. Not only did I meet a great many makers and found that people were very excited about this open source robotic arm project. I also had the great pleasure of meeting some great roboticist. There were three organizations showing off robot arms of one sort or the other.
Modbot was in the Autodesk booth and definitely wins the prize for being the most polished of the robot arms. Modbot builds reconfigurable robotic arms. Adam and Daniel, the founders, are pushing hard towards a product launch. However this demo arm already looks great. For those wondering, that is Patrick Rainsberry from Autodesk getting his head squished.
uArm out of Shenzhen were there. They had a hugely successful Kickstarter last year ($250k) and have used that money and success to refine and improve the arm, offering a metal version. They were excited to talk hypocycloidals which I found promising as they may be moving beyond hobby servos. I really like the uArm guys – their product is open source and they seem committed to enhancing the product post Kickstarter. They also had some outstanding demos using Leap Motion’s interface and showing how the arms could imitate each-other.
Finally, I had an opportunity to meet Gael at inMoov, which isn’t a Robot Arm per-se, but it includes a robot arm in its design. Gael has built a fully 3D Printed humanoid robot (pictured in the selfie at the beginning of the blog) that is a remarkable integration of design, vision, motors and software. He is also on the cover of the most recent Make Magazine. It is also worth noting that Gael is a really awesome guy.