If you’d like to have your own robot arm you can, of course, build one yourself, or you can choose from one of the many offerings on the market. For those with a huge amount of space, large budgets, and the competency to account for a variety of safety concerns, you might select a large high-quality industrial robot. For those who simply wish to experiment — and aren’t backed by an industrial concern or independently wealthy — you’re normally left with robots that, while fun to use, compromise in several different ways.
The Mirobot—now on Kickstarter for $335 — aims to bridge this gap, as a miniature stepper-driven robot arm inspired by the ABB IRB 6700 industrial robot. Along with its six-axis versatility, the robot could be used with a slide or conveyor belt to extend its effective reach, and a wide range of interchangeable grippers are available to suit your needs.
Mirobot can be controlled via a smartphone, custom control pendant, or PC, and it can be programmed in a number of languages. Firmware will be open source, and board schematics are based on the Arduino Mega. Proposed applications include holding a small camera, drawing on paper or with a 3D pen, and working on a mini assembly line — and with the freedom such an excellent little device affords, it will be exciting to see what else users come up with!