Niryo One - Open Source, Six Axis Robotic Arm
Tom Spendlove posted on April 10, 2017 |
Niryo is running crowdfunding campaign for a six axis robot to teach robotics and be useful to the m...

Marc Frouin and Eduardo Renard from Niryo want to make sure everyone can learn robotics and programming, and enjoy the benefits or robotics in their lives. Their robot Niryo One was built to push the idea that functional robots can be low-cost and user-friendly. Niryo One is currently running a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund their first run of production components.

Niryo One is a six axis robotic arm built for education, makers, and small industrial applications. Most of the components are 3D printed and the controls are compatible with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Robot Operating System. The project has a heavy open source commitment, and after the first units ship CAD files, Arduino code, Raspberry Pi code, and the Unified Robot Description Format (URDF) files will be released to the public.

The robot itself weighs 3.2 kilograms, can carry a maximum payload of 0.5 kilograms, and has a maximum reach of 440 millimeters. The base joint can revolve in a full circle and the repeatability of motion is +/- 0.5 millimeters. The bot consumes approximately 60 Watts to run, and uses a 12 Volt, 7 Amp power supply. Five stepper motors and two servos control the motion, along with Arduino Mega and Rasberry Pi 3 controllers.

Several end effector tools can be added on the robot for additional costs. The standard gripper has a linear clamping force and can open to a width of 30 millimeters. The second gripper is meant for larger objects and can open up to 65 millimeters. A third gripper gets at objects more difficult to control, mostly round objects or hollow objects. An electromagnet, vacuum attachment, pen holder, and DC motor controller are also optional ends for the robot.

Positions and movement can be taught in several ways. The end can be moved by hand and its positions logged to create a movement path. Xbox or Playstation controllers can be used to either control the X-Y-Z positions of the end, or control each joint separately. Niryo App is the control application that is compatible with iOS, Android and any web browser. G-code instructions are also on the horizon as a way to incorporate CNC controls into the robot.

Niryo is a great entry into the robotics education and maker movements. The commitment to open source means that over time many more applications will be found for the robot, and users can develop new control methods. The campaign page is full of videos showing different control methods, educational opportunities, and possible applications. If the team commits this much effort to the open source and onboarding process for new users the project should continue to be successful. The campaign is already funded and will end on April 25, 2017. First units are expected to ship in September 2017.

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