Robotic arms have been used for industrial purposes for years now. The gigantic collection of steel and wires are what make cars and other products in factories that once required people to perform the tasks. Chinese inventors have created a miniature version of the robotic arm which can easily sit on your office desk and pour you drinks, fetch items and even play the xylophone in case you are in need of music at the office.
The uArm is a little assistant that can help you with small tasks at your workplace. The Shenzhen-based Chinese company, uFactory says that the uArms can be used to form a small scale production line just like their full size counterparts. The arm has 4-degrees of freedom, provided by three servo motors at the base of the arm that control the main movement and one small servo at the top, to move and rotate the object being held.
The robot arm can be controlled via a mouse and desktop using a Windows app. The company is developing software for the iOS and Android platforms so users can operate the arms using their smartphones and a Bluetooth connection. The arm mirrors the movement of the mouse, meaning that when the mouse is moved downward the arm lowers itself. Users can also program x, y and z co-ordinates so the arm can perform a pre-programmed task on its own. The inspiration for the uArm comes from the industrial robot arm IRB460. The arm is made from acrylic or wood to maintain a light weight.
The project’s Kickstarter campaign had an original target of $5,000 and has well surpassed the mark with a current value of over $71,000. The uArm, according to the company, will be able to be customized according to the user’s requirements. Some models of the uArm are sold out but there is still plenty of variety left. A kit with an acrylic arm, gripper and sucker costs $229 plus shipping and can be ordered pre-assembled for $279. Mechanical kits without motors and servos start at $69, while a custom model costs up to $1000. Shipping will start in May.