Like something straight out of Iron-Man, this all-in-one robotic arm could be your new best friend.
In the films, Tony Stark uses an AI-powered robotic arm to help in the development and repair of the Iron-Man suits. The robot makes an appearance in all three Iron-Man movies and even had a hand in saving his life a few times.
There’s just a few problems with the arm from the movies…
It’s the size of a fridge, costs millions of dollars and isn’t real.
However, a new Kickstarter campaign has developed an arm with many of the same functions that not only fits on a desk, but costs less than a laptop.
It’s called Hexbot, and it’s designed to help makers of all kinds realize their ideas through a modular design that allows it to do everything from 3D printing to laser engraving.
Roughly the size of a lamp, the Hexbot is built like a miniature version of the industrial robot arms found in manufacturing plants. The idea is to enable creators to automate repetitive tasks or build new tools on the fly. Things like laser engraved iPhone cases and drawings are hammered out in minutes with complete precision.
No coding, no problem
What usually stops home robotics from being useful to the masses is the programming required beforehand. However, Hexbot can be instructed with or without coding using its Teach & Play function.
By physically guiding the arm, you can record the movements you want it to repeat through the included touchscreen.
What makes the arm so versatile is the swappable design of the modules that clip onto the end. Instead of fiddling with tiny screws and endless recalibration, the end effectors click into Hexbot in seconds.
Some of the key features of the Hexbot robotic arm include a 0.05mm high repeatability rate, speeds up to 500mm/s, and a 500G payload capacity (a little over 1lb).
The nodules available on Hexbot’s kickstarter page include a pen holder, laser engraver, suction cup, soft gripper and 3D printer. There are also more advanced add-ons like a computer vision kit, linear rails and a conveyor belt. This allows multiple Hexbots to work together like an assembly line.
Amazingly, Hexbot reached their $50,000 funding goal in 5-minutes on Kickstarter. Early bird packages sold-out quickly, but you can still order their Kickstarter special for a $299 pledge. It includes the robotic arm, pen holding module and cables. Additional modules like the laser engraver and 3D printer can be added for around $80.