UFactory – located in China’s Shenzhen – has debuted a 4-axis parallel-mechanism desktop robot arm. UArm, modeled after the ABB industrial PalletPack robot, is built around Atmel’s ATmega328 MCU which powers a custom board. The platform is constructed with acrylic or wood parts and fitted with standard RC hobby servos.
Most of the unit’s mass is concentrated at the base, which acts as a stabilizing factor while facilitating optimized response time. Three servos on the base control the arm’s primary movement, while a mini servo (on the top) moves and rotates an object.
“Once you got your uArm, you can immediately customize it with your own components. For example, you can add a LED to make a computer-controlled desk lamp, install it on the arm on a mobile robot chassis base and move it around, play music, or make a small assembly line at your desk,” a UFactory rep explained in a recent Kickstarter post.
“The possibilities are infinite; there are many more fun applications that can be done by using your uArm kit. And as you try to make it work, you will learn a lot about robotics and coding. Since it [can] be easily controlled with a smartphone (Android and iOS), people with [little or] no programming background [will] also enjoy the fun of robotics.”
UFactory has also coded a basic Windows app that allows the uArm to be maneuvered with a keyboard or mouse.
“Our embedded inverse-kinematics algorithm [allows] the uArm to be precisely controlled using coordinates,” the rep continued.
“[In addition], we have written an Arduino library specifically for controlling the uArm. So if you are familiar with Arduino, you can program it directly with Arduino IDE. By calling different functions, you can move uArm to [a specific] position without doing tons of hard math.”
Interested in learning more about the Atmel-powered uArm? You can check out the project’s official Kickstarter page here.