Ever sit and watch Iron Man and think to yourself “man, I wish I had a robot arm that could help me build a badass suit.” Yea, us too. The Niryo One desktop robotic arm can help you achieve part of that dream. It may not be able to help you build your own version of an Iron Man suit, but it can help you out with other tasks around the house. On Niryo’s Kickstarter campaign site, they plainly say that their goal is “to make robotics accessible for everyone.” That means what exactly? Well, that means that kids, college students, and hobbyists alike can easily attain and use a desktop version of Tony Stark’s Dum-E, without the voice control of course.
The Niryo One is a 6-axis robotic arm. The 6-axis design, commonly used in manufacturing robots, allows use in any given direction. The Niryo team developed the robot with makers, students, and small companies in mind. Using 3D printed parts in the body, it features a suction pump, a gripper, and electromagnet tool attachments. Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Robot Operating System powers the arm. Niryo has planned to make the robot’s code open source after the first shipments to allow the community to develop more uses and functionalities.
The Niryo One connects to your home via a Wi-Fi connection. It uses “5 steppers motors to move the 4th first axis, and two servomotors to move the 5th and 6th axis. All axis are closed-loop controlled, using magnetic sensors for stepper motors, and analog input for servo motors.“
Controlling the Niryo:
You can control the Niryo through the following modes:
Simply use your hands to position the arm, then save. This process is easy enough for even kids to use as it does not require any knowledge of robots or computers.
This mode uses an Xbox or Playstation controller to control the arm with one of two modes. The position mode uses the x, y, z and the orientation of the end effector tool. Joint mode controls each axis independently.
Currently still only in development, this mode will integrate into both the web and mobile apps. With the G-Code mode, you can use the robot as a CNC machine, making it ideal for woodworking and other carving or machining.
This mode can replay and use sequences you create either in learning mode or on the app. You can also modify the sequence of commands and give values to the robot such as coordinates or joint angles.
Most of the backer packages offered include DIY assembly. All packages include access to their beta cloud service to share programs, control the robot remotely, plan tasks, as well as apply software updates. Since the project is fully funded, the first shipments will be sent out in September 2017. Plenty of backer pledge packages are still available, with the cheapest starting at about $585 without the 3D printed parts. Not good with DIY, or no access to a 3D printer? They’ve still got packages that fit your needs. Niryo even offers packages for the tools (including two grippers, a vacuum pump, electromagnet picker, pen holder, and DC motor).
The best thing about the Niryo One is their stance on the community involvement. They’ve designed the robot with all skill levels and ages in mind to make it attainable for them to use robotics. They have even included blockly in the Niryo App for kids to learn programming visually.