Dobot: Bring Industrial Precision To Low Cost Robots

Unsatisfied by low cost, low precision and poor functionality desktop robotic arms on the market, a group of six hardcore robot makers decided to quit their high-paying industry jobs, and build their own. Named its first product Dobot, the team’s mission is to bring industrial precision to consumer, affordable robotic arms that can actually DO the job.

Fully designed and assembled in China, a new desktop, 4-axis, stepper motor, high precision robotic arm Dobot is launching its first Kickstarter campaign on September 15th, 2015 (Beijing Time).

 

The robot has tackled a series of technical difficulties struggled by other analogs. Here’s a list of its feature highlights:

 

  • High mechanical accuracy (0.02mm)
  • High repeat precision (0.2mm), 50 times better than uArm
  • Stepper motor equipped with high accuracy reducer
  • High strength aluminium alloy surface and processed by anodic oxidation treatment
  • Mechanical structure assembled by the state of art CNC cutting technology, ensuring its superb agility, stability and durability
  • Seven control methods including PC, mobile app, voice, vision, leap motion, geature and EEG (mind control, see demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxU7ZhStuPA)
  • Easy click-and-drag control interface for beginners and also programmable for advanced makers, using Processing, Arduino, and C/C++ as primary languages
  • Affordable price starting with $399

 

For making it even more friendlier to both makers and the general public, Dobot’s design is well-fit for desktop applications, see its tech specifications:

  • Number of Axes: 4
  • Weight: 3kg
  • Payload: 500g
  • Range: 270 degree rotation
  • Position repeatability: 0.2mm
  • Material: aluminium alloy 6061
  • Controller: Arduino Mega2560
  • Communication: UART/Bluetooth
  • Power Supply: 12V 5A DC

 

The team has premiered its prototype at the 2015 Shenzhen Maker Faire, and has received positive feedback from makers, robot experts and open hardware communities ever since. “…the motion is really precise…it’s not just a toy, it can also be used to build stuff.” Says the CEO of Arduino, Massimo Banzi. On the popular DIY sharing platform Instrucables, its step-by-step instruction on building a robotic arm has received more than 23k likes in the first four days and got featured on the first page.

 

Upon their launch on Kickstarter, the team is very optimistic on the future performance of Dobot, marching their way to helping the world’s robot lovers to explore the beauty excitement of making stuff.

 

About the Team

The team was founded in June 2014 by a group of industrial robot engineers based in Shenzhen. The team’s CEO, Jerry (Peichao) Liu, and the head of engineering Art (Xulin) Lang both graduated from Shandong University in mechanics engineering. Jerry received its Masters from China Academy of Sciences, majoring in mechanics engineering and joined a robot company focusing on industrial robots for medical applications. Art during his Masters program, solely designed Delta parallel manipulator, Scara robot and a few others. After school, as the head of Scara robot project, he worked with Foxconn. All the founders all acquired extensive industry experience in robotics before joining the team. They have deep belief in bringing industrial precision robots to everyone’s desktop and in the future will launch a series of new models.

Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks partnership helps launch MeArm – a mini robotic arm for the masses

A pocket size robot arm to make robotics, electronics and programming accessible to the masses has smashed its Kickstarter goal.  A miniaturised version of an industrial robot arm, MeArm is simple enough to build and use with primary school children, but also enables advanced levels of robotics education.

Being open-source, MeArm’s entire design and code files are freely available to download so that makers everywhere can share and enrich their knowledge. There are already well over 250 MeArms ‘in the wild’ in every continent except Antarctica.

MeArm can be cut entirely from an A4 sheet of acrylic and built with standard low-cost servo motors. Kickstarter success will enable the launch of the MeBrain, an innovative platform that make it possible to build something low cost ‘with nothing but a screwdriver and enthusiasm’ from May 2015.

In order to bring robotics to the masses, MeArm’s founder and open source enthusiast Ben Gray sought the expertise of Des19ncor, a design consultancy based on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks (LUSEP).

“We saw a great opportunity to help Ben create a viable long term business” said Martin Croft, Des19ncor’s MD, who has since registered MeArm as a new venture in LUSEP’s Innovation Centre.

In addition to the partnership with De19ncor, MeArm has also benefited from the creative expertise in the Studio, the University’s graduate commercialisation hub. Collaboration with the Department of Computer Sciences will strengthen the ultimate goal of MeArm’s widespread adoption by schools, colleges and universities to encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.

As support for MeArm builds, a stretch goal to upgrade kits to include hexagonal screws and tools has already been achieved and the project is well on the way to having a wireless support option. Further stretch goals have since been added, including Bluetooth support and app development. “It’s been fantastic to receive such an enthusiastic response for MeArm,” said Ben Gray.  He added, “With even more support, we could create an interface with the credit card-sized computer, Raspberry Pi which is already blazing a path into engagement in STEM education.”