Dorna Offers a Fast Powerful Accurate Robot Arm
Tom Spendlove posted on November 10, 2017 | 1154 views

Sadegh Tabatabaei had an idea to build a robot chef, and after developing his idea decided to create a robot arm that can help users with many tasks instead of just cooking. He enlisted his brother Hossein and together they worked to make a robot arm that was low in price but high in functionality. Dorna is their current project, a 5-axis arm with open source firmware and software. Dorna is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first production run of parts.

The body of Dorna is 6061 aluminum plate with Nema 17 and Nema 23 stepper motors. The robot is controlled by Arduino Due platform controllers, and programming so far is done in Python. The system weighs 12 pounds and has a horizontal reach of 38 inches and a vertical reach of 23 inches. Speeds can reach up to 150 degrees per second and the robot is shown in the video carrying a 2.5 pound payload. Positioning is said to be 0.001 inch repeatably.

Dorna Lab is the software that’s been developed to control the Dorna bot, compatible with Windows, Mac or Linux. The software is GUI based and gives the options to use script or command line controls. g2core firmware was chosen by the Tabatabaei brothers to give stable motion and smooth starts and stops.  

Dorna is another small scale robot marketed toward makers, hobbyists and educators. The commitment to robust design with aluminum plate and metal gears makes it stand out for me, and the Dorna Lab software that demonstrates a great graphic simulator on the campaign page. It will be interesting to see the first mid-scale industrial application that brings on a factory full of these small scale robots, and what that success or failure will mean to the hobby robot industry. I discovered the robot project seeing two of the units chopping some salad, the visual completely hooked me. This campaign ends on December 15 and if successful first units are expected to ship in July 2018.

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