PiArm Gives Six Axis Functionality to DIY Robotic Arm
Tom Spendlove posted on April 24, 2019 |

SB Components is a group of electronics enthusiasts from the United Kingdom, focusing on spreading a love of STEM concepts through the use of Raspberry Pi. After starting as a manufacturer of Raspberry Pi cases, the team decided that specific projects and shields could easily bring the joy of programming and building to more people. Their latest project, the PiArm, is running a Kickstarter funding campaign to fund their first run of parts.

PiArm is a six axis robotic arm with six servo motors and 360 degrees of freedom. The system works with any version of Raspberry Pi and is controlled through a 40 pin GPIO header shield. The hardware and software are both open source and written in Python. The control software can be used with a joystick, laptop, mobile phone or touchscreen. The basic robot kit comes with the robot, pick and place end effector, a joystick for controlling the robot and a camera module. Other options available through this campaign are 5 and 7 inch LCD screens - the campaign video also shows ultrasonic sensors, infrared sensors, sound sensors, and hand or pen holder end effectors. The servos run between 5 and 8.4 Volts, and give feedback on temperature, voltage, and position. LED lights on the servos give the user an indication of the servo life. The PiArm robot is 260 millimeters extended from the top of base to end connection point, 375 millimeters including the stock end effector, and 430 millimeters when the base is included.

The market for maker-friendly educational robots is crowded, but the track record that SB components has both developing and innovating with Raspberry Pi applications makes me give them the benefit of the doubt for a successful launch and implementation. There are several short videos on the campaign page showing different control methods and options that will be available, this is worth coming back to next year to check on the progress. The campaign is already successful and ends on April 25, 2019.















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