Dobot: Robotic Arm for everyone, Arduino & Open Source


Here’s an interesting open source project on Kickstarter the magical robotic arm, Dobot:

Designed for DESKTOP. Arduino-powered, 4-axis parallel-mechanism robot arm with High Quality. For makers, educators, and everyone!
We are six engineers who built a 4-axis high accuracy, high repeat precision, stepper motor, Arduino-based, desktop robotic arm called Dobot.

You can visit his Kickstart page for more info.

Also check out project’s Instructables and Github page.

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    1. 7bot is different, I have seen that robot arm made by hobbyist servo motor, it is just a toy, can to repeat motion accurately. But this one seems use Stepper, it can be locating position accurately like 3D printer , laser cutter, CNC machine. It is important for some application situation, this is the most important breakthrough in this product, especially for just 499$ price.

  1. The paragraph title “Dobot is affordable” on the same page as its $500 price tag highlights very nicely how mind-bogglingly different various people’s notion of “affordable” can be (this usually applies to 3D printers as well – there clearly cannot exist anyone who can’t afford to throw away $500-$1000 for a “low-cost” printer of severely limited use beyond shower curtain ring production).

  2. Definitely for the 3D printer crowd, that would be, uh, ‘affordable’. Theu use words that you’d know the kind of folks they are targeting: ‘Arduino-powered’. ‘Makers’. ‘Processing’. ‘Scratch’.
    Ha ha, look at their Kickstarter, they tag themselves with San Francisco but do not actually identify themselves with any single real person’s name and further down the page the English starts becoming broken and the spelling messed up.
    The Dinosaur in me wishes they’d use AVR instead of talking about struggling with Arduino. :-P Amateurs. Meh.

    1. It just for the 3 steppers to get precision 0.2mm, but in acuator there is other one or two servo motor you can choose to assemble it for orientation, so it can be 4 or 5 axis or Degree of Freedom. Thank you very much!

    2. Maybe you didn’t scroll down enough, but there are the names of the five team members. It drives me crazy when I read bullshit like “Controller: Arduino Mege2560”. There is no such thing as an “Arduino Controller”, it’s an Atmel AVR, period.

      1. Whilst I normally would agree with you regarding the “anything with an AVR” is an Arduino trend, in this case I think they’re justified. They’re not saying the controller is the CPU. They’re actually using an Arduino Mega 2560 board as the the controller as well so it isn’t any AVR = Arduino. It would be similar to saying you’re using a Beaglebone or Raspberry Pi as the controller.

      2. Ha ha, yeah, I didn’t try reading hard enough, the quality of the presentation did put me off, I could only handle just _so_ much. :-)
        So okay, they should just code C/C++ ATmega, still an AVR, but I wish Atmel wouldn’t mess _so_much_ with different branding schemes… But the last time I checked, Arduino only had a limited interrupt repertoire. If they want to sequence several steppers, why not do it _properly_ eh?

      3. It surely use an Arduino Mega 2560 and a sheild to control 3 steppers. Use arduino with libraries also means it can be modified easily. Like the RepRap 3D printer, grbl and Marlin is popular around hacker who often use to Control motor things. you blame is irrational.

  3. There is really a need for a high accuracy desktop robotic arm for a affordable price. Most of the desktop models are controlled with servos so naturally don’t move as smoothly as one with stepper motors.

    1. Okay, I saw one of their vids, sans sound. The thing about these kind of ad vids that make me uneasy is that much of the demos rely on carefully aligned items. Picking up an object and putting it atop another would not work unless both items are quite nicely positioned. Et cetera. If you were actually doing a task repeatedly with the arm, you’d need alignment procedures. And threading a wire through the eye of a needle? Oh, do show how it manages to poke the wire through the eye first… :-P
      Beyond being an educational toy, how many readers here use a robot arm for doing something useful (say, engraving), repeatedly? I’m curious…

    2. I assume you are talking about hobby ‘Servos’ (the modules commonly used in RC planes, cars, etc.) rather than real industrial Servos. I don’t know about the smoothness of cheap hobby ‘servos’, but Steppers certainly are not as smooth as real Servos, simply by the nature of the way they work.

      1. 0.2mm is nothing fancy, so I don’t really doubt that, but of course it depends on how it’s geared, etc. I haven’t looked at the details of this unit, but typical Steppers are 200 steps per Rev, though of course there are many different types. They may run microstepping drives, but microsteps aren’t all that accurate anyway, despite what some people like to believe. Yes if you wanted to repeat operations consistently on different items you would need some method of ensuring the part was in the correct place. In Industry it’s typical to have jigs and / or to set a Datum point when setting up the job. If using jigs, then you typically need to ‘Home’ the machine to a specified point typically with a homing routine.

      2. I’m not convinced either. I’m perfectly ready to believe it does indeed have 0.2mm _resolution_ but I’m not sure at all how much rigidity you can really get with a non-industrial-heavy-duty frame (not to mention compounded play in all the joints) and what that does to your _repeatability_…

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