Beijing-based robotics drive company INNFOShas unveiled a new modular robotic arm that can carry out complex actions with human-like flexibility and was designed for a host of applications — prototyping, production, STEM projects, and maker tasks. INNFOS’ Gluon robotic arm is a purpose-driven platform capable of performing a myriad of functions, including as a pick-and-place machine, camera tracking, painting, 3D printing, laser engraving, processing assembly and more.
The secret behind Gluon’s abilities are in its composite-based SCA (Smart Compliant Actuator) QDD Lite-NE30 smart actuators, which incorporate a high-precision reducer, a high torque density outer rotor motor, precision encoder, collision detection sensor, and driver. The drive board has multiple protections against overvoltage, overcurrent, high operating temperature, short-circuiting, locked rotor, and under-voltage. They also pack three closed-loop control, optimization algorithms, low-cost impedance control, and flexible control.
According to INNFOS, the robotic arm features a host of different swappable end effectors — a suction cup, ball gripper, micro servo gripper, electromagnetic head, and more. What’s more, users can outfit the robotic arm with a machine-vision module for human-machine interactions. On the specs side, Gluon has a 421mm reach, weighs 2.5kg, can handle up to a 1kg payload, and is comprised of a strengthened composite material.
INNFOS is currently crowdfunding the Gluon modular robotic arm on Kickstarter. Pledges start at $579 for the basic model with options to add additional SCA QDD Lite-N30 actuators ($89/$99), and a Gluon SDK equipped Raspberry Pi ($50), although it’s also compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac as well. INNFOS will also make available the SDK, IAS, IRS, along with APIs for various programming languages.