]What is a lightweight robotic arm?
A robotic arm is a type of mechanical arm. It is usually programmable and assembles functions of a human arm. Such anarm is typically connected by joints that allow rotation or translational displacement.
Robotic arms are irreplaceable devices capable of performing a specific task or job quickly, efficiently, and with extreme accuracy in the modern production process. The earliest research on robotic arms dates back to the 1940s when US Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories used remote robotic arms to deal with radioactive materials. After seventy year's development, robotic arms become one of the most common mechanical devices used in cutting, assembling, palletizing, spraying, and other occasions, and in medical surgery, aerospace exploration, military reconnaissance, etc.
While most of these arms are usually heavy and complex to program, called industrial robotic arm, lightweight robotic arms have come to the stage with more flexibility and also reserved core functions. They are relatively smaller and tinier, but still programmable to operate precisely.
Nowadays with lightweight robotic arms emerging in the modern world, Elephant Robotics focuses on numerous types of robotic arms, each designed with specific functions and abilities to suit particular environments and requirements.Difference
What are the differences between myCobot-M5, myCobot-Pi, myCobot-Jetson Nano, and myCobot for Arduino?
While factory and assembly robotic arms are still the most common robotic arms today, lightweight robotic arms provide solutions for entering commercial settings. They are relatively small, affordable and easy to program. Currently, Elephant Robotics' myCobot 280 series is a 6-DOF desk robotic arm with a payload of 250 grams, and it comes in four versions. Despite the mechanical parts being the same, the specifications differ quite a lot:
myCobot-M5 introduced by the year 2020 with M5 Stack Atom & Basic ESP32 with dual display screens, supporting the faster visual operation and monitoring work status, so programming MyCobot-M5 is simple and easy for every user. Based on M5 Stack Atom & Basic ESP32 providing a full range of IoT modules from main controllers, communication modules to the sensors and actuators, Mycobot-M5 is suited for users emphasizing high performance, reliability, and scalability. Practical cases range from studio helpers that can deliver tools to kitchen assistants that can cookcakes. On M5 Stack open platform, users can browse and search for open source hardware, API interface and diverse cooperation forms in a more cost-effective way.
myCobot-Pi introduced with Raspberry Pi 4B with 1.5GHz 4 core CPU, running on Debian/Ubuntu platform. Built-in ROS and blockly visual programming enable Mycobot-Pi to operate with relatively high scalability. It is regarded as the most affordable portable processor. As Raspberry Pi aims to promote basic computer science education in schools with low-cost hardware and free software, users can enjoy a friendly educational community with the help of the Raspberry Pi press and Raspberry Pi foundation. With numerous books for computing gaming and the inspirational community in an easy-to-use platform of Raspberry Pi, this version is suitable for users ranging from beginners who want to learn python or set up a lightweight platform, to STEM educators and institutions for further research.
myCobot-Jetson Nano Based on the Jetson Nano AI board and equipped with a camera, myCobot 280 Jetson Nano is capable of quick image processing, robotic algorithm developments, ROS simulation learning, etc. Being a powerful small artificial intelligence computer, it can be started by simply inserting a microSD card with a system image, which simplifies beginners' development. Besides, the Jetson Nano board includes a higher-performance and more powerful GPU (graphics processing unit), which leads to better outcomes in eye-in-hand robot projects compared with my robot Pi making more advanced R&Dpossible. Combined with Nvidia's powerful SDKs such as Deepstream, Vision AI applications and services, it is an ideal version to deepen AI and robotics learning for developers. This boosts the potential of the myCobot-Jetson Nano's secondary development.
l myCobot for Arduino Compatible with multiple Arduino or Arduino-like boards and extensions. Arduino software is easy-to-use for beginners, yet flexible enough for advanced users. While most other microcontrollers systems are limited to Windows, the Arduino Software (IDE) runs on cross platforms including Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux OS. This version focuses on the integrity of robotic arms and pays more attention to improving the simplicity of research and development of users. With a range of Arduino boards (e.g. MKR WiFi 1010, UNO, Mega 2560, etc ) and extensible software to choose from, developers and designers can make their unique myCobot to meet their demands. As myCobot for Arduino provides a more open clear development environment, developers can even design their boards without necessarily relying on PCB'A (Printed Circuit Board Assembly). Furthermore, for teachers looking to bring some innovation into classrooms, Arduino Education is ready to empower educators with necessary hardware and software tools.
All four versions of myCobot product line can be integrated with open source applications and be adapted to developers’ unique requirements.Looking to the future
What future does myCobot product line hold?
Today, the lightweight robotic arm is facing many challenges and opportunities. Improvements in precision and extension, as well as relatively affordable prices, allow lightweight robotic arms to come into daily lives. Combined with various extensions and SOC versions, myCobot product line is aimed at the mainstream engineers who specialize in Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Jetson Nano respectively. As the robotics and AI industries are the hottest fields today, myCobot becomes an essential entry-level professional tool for their career growth.
Currently with so much extensible software and hardware available, myCobot series is preferable to education and research. With the Moore effect of hardware, the accuracy and load will be improved through continuous iteration, so as to solve more practical problems of repetitive labour. So, for STEM education it would be a useful tool to explore more potential in their research.
Elephant Robotics brings more potential and possibilities into the market with more choices for personal users. For example, commands such as simple as 'drag and teach' can turn a robotic arm into a little object deliverer while coding in the platforms mentioned above can achieve automation upgrading like the Tumor Thermal Therapy Robot in medical use. As affordable lightweight robotic arms begin to enter personal life, individual automation will be possible. This would improve the quality of life of individuals as well as benefit the whole society.
More potential waits to be discovered. Come and start to customize your unique robotic arm and you would make a difference.On YouTube
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