Controlling a robot arm with Arduino is always fun, robotics projects in general always attract beginners to get introduced to basic electronics and learn about the world of automation.
A few days ago, a friend asked me this: “What is the best Arduino robot arm kit out there?”, so I did a quick research on Amazon, Adafruit, Sparkfun and Robotshop to find a suitable one, and came up with this list.
I have compared all of them in terms of pricing, specifications, and assembly steps.
1. Me Arm
The MeArm robot kit is an excellent robot kit in terms of value for money, it comes as a flat pack robot arm kit, that you can build with nothing but a screwdriver and enthusiasm. It is a great kit to get you started in the world of programming, electronics, robotics, and engineering! It was featured as the “Perfect Arduino Project for Beginners” by Lifehacker.
Although you might find it not that easy to assemble (according to an Amazon review), when you put all the parts as instructed, it works like a charm. Our interns have actually worked with it before, they used the Gamepad shield in 1Sheeld to control the arm via smartphone. Check this video below and see all the instructions of the project on Hackster.
The MeArm kit is available on Robotshop for $39.95
2. Dagu Robot Arm
Although it’s not a cheap robot arm kit, it is my favorite one among the list. It is a 5 degrees of freedom robot arm (not counting the servo of the gribber), that is very stable when assembled, and it’s a long one! 390 mm.
I personally used it before when creating the tutorial for the Orientation shield of 1Sheeld, check out the video below to see it in action 😉
And also if you want to control it with your gestures like the video above, here is the full project with all the code and instructions on instructables.com
The Dagu robot arm is also available on Robotshop for $249.9
3. OWI Robot Arm Edge
OWI has made robot arm technology more affordable without compromising quality. The arm has a lifting capacity of 100g and you can command the gripper to open and close.
Its movement features are:
- Wrist motion of 120 degrees.
- An extensive elbow range of 300 degrees.
- Base rotation of 270 degrees.
- Base motion of 180 degrees.
- Vertical reach of 15 inches.
- Horizontal reach of 12.6 inches.
Although it is not designed to be controlled by Arduino, many hackers and makers have used it with the Adafruit Motorshield, like Chris Anderson in the video below.
Chris published a full instructable that has all code and details on how to build it.
You have to know that this kit is pretty complex to assemble, but hey! No pain no gain ;).
The OWI robot arm edge is available on Adafruit for $49.95.
4. uArm – Desktop Robot Arm
The uArm is an Arduino-powered, 4-axis robot arm that has been modeled after industrial pallet packing and car building robots which can be set up and used straight off of your desktop.
Each uArm is equipped with three digital servos at the base to control the basic movement of the arm and an additional mini servo attached to the end-effector that moves and rotates the object you are lifting with your chosen manipulator.
The uArm is is the most expensive kit on the list, but it certainly is a high-quality one. You can find it at Sparkfun for $339.95
5. SainSmart Robot Arm Model for Arduino
Despite its 3-stars Amazon reviews, I think this kit is the cheaper option for the Dagu robot arm above.
The interesting part is, SainSmart provided different models based on the number of servo motors, giving you more options to choose.
- 3-Axis ($49.99)
- 3-Axis DIY ($59.99)
- 4-Axis ($109.99)
- 5-Axis DIY ($88.99)
- 6-Axis ($175.99)
- 6-Axis DIY ($109.99)
They also have a rotatable platform for $17.99 and a moving metal platform for $99.99
Get the SainSmart robot arm on Amazon.
So, these were the top 5 robot arms I’ve found on the internet, what do you think? Have a cool robot arm to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below 😉