Possibly you played with many robot arm looking toys when you were kids. Nowadays those has been upgraded with sometimes bundled computer software GUI tools. Many Toys For Kids Are Great to Mod & Use With Arduino, Raspberry Pi or others. Here is Robot Arm & Gripper Buying Guide For DIY Electronics. There are some points to know beforehand, a very basic robotic arm can be actually 3D printed. We will use them as foundation base.
Robot Arm & Gripper Buying Guide For DIY Electronics : Why We Snatch the Kids’ Toys?
Our parents had tight budget or thought them to be idiotic, we need to play at 30 years age now! Basically my parents tend towards robotic building blocks instead of ready to use robots. These ready made kits have servo motors, wiring etc. works done. First after buying play with it like kids and then hack it. As you know, servo motors buying is not exactly easy. A robotic arm will have minimum 3-4 servo motors. Normal market price of 4 such Servo Motors will be 4 * $7 = $27. Those kids’ robotic arms & grippers cost $30 themselves. There is no actual financial loss!
Obviously, we can buy very basic Robot Arm & Gripper at more cheaper price or 3D print the plastic parts on own 3D Printer or via 3D Printing Service. I would suggest you to somehow find the diagram to print and go for CNC milling service for metal Robot Arm & Gripper.
We are telling you some known models for the kids which will work as foundation base for adult Robot Arm & Gripper development.
Robot Arm & Gripper Buying Guide For DIY Electronics : Known Models
If you can get the printable 3D files or make them from the manufacturer’s some hidden designing details, go for CNC milling or 3D printing. Robotic Parallel Jaws are the cheapest, most easy design and the basic of this area. Servo Motor’s movement will be converted to gripping movement. Obviously, adding sensors and programming can make $2 Million dollar da Vinchi Surgical Robot! There are industrial grade grippers (which are used in our factors to hold something and move to some place).
There are kits, ready to use toys with various names – Educational Toys, Junior Scientist Kits etc. If you try to buy a line follower robot as kit, it will cost more higher than going through these toys or CNC milling way. Robot Arm & Gripper plus Wheeled Robotic Chassis makes the Intelligent Ground Vehicle. Add more sensors and logics to make them better.
Wooden DIY Hydraulic Robotic Arm costs the least. There are possibly not what you exactly want – they lack the Servo Motor at gripper end. They work at hydraulic action using compressed air. Kid will push a syringe like stuff and gripper will work, thats it. Obviously a Servo Motor can programmatically do the kid’s work of syringe movement. They are great for lifting very small weight stuffs. You can not attach a Servo Motor at the gripper end. Cost will be $10 – $20, does not really justify our need at that price. Heaven of 100% Open Source 3D Designs and working demos can be found at Thingiverse (
thingiverse.com). They also sell the stuffs. But, buying from them cost a bit more. MeArm Robot Arm (
mearm.com) costs $30 and not bad at all. We recommend to read this webpage :
OWI Robotic Arm Edge is the most commonly hacked “toy”. Buy anything from Ebay’s Auction – use your practical idea & get the basic stuff at least possible cost. As we said before, it costs $30 as new. OWI Robotic Arm Edge lacks of positional feedback, a negative point for spending $30. OWI Robotic Arm Edge is easy to hack.