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Dobot M1: the affordable desktop robot arm that 3D prints, laser-engraves, solders, and more

Posted at: FRIday - 09/12/2016 10:43 - post name: SuperG
Dobot M1

Dobot M1

Dobot, the Chinese company that brought us the 3D printed Arduino powered robot arm, is creating buzz with its newest project: the Dobot M1, an affordable desktop robot arm that 3D prints, laser-engraves, solders, picks up and places, and more.

Up until now, Dobot has shipped several robots mostly aimed at educational use, such as the $1,200 Dobot Magician and the $900 Dobot Arm v1.0. The Dobot M1 is the company’s first attempt at producing a robot intended for light manufacturing.

Affordability is key in the desktop robot arm race. As the company’s Kickstarter page reads, “Dobot M1 is made to reverse one simple fact: industrial robotic arms are toooo expensive. With 0.02mm precision, velocity of 200 degrees per second, 1.5kg workload and 400mm maximum reach, Dobot M1 makes a perfect essence for a professional workspace, and we managed to keep the price under [a] surprising $2000.

“Not only that, with features like self-developed user interface, wireless connectivity, handhold teaching, and multi-Dobot cooperation capability, we've provided the most user-friendly environment for self-employers and factories to build their own production platform.”

As part of its Kickstarter campaign, Dobot initially priced the Dobot M1 at $999 for early-bird backers. The cost has now been raised to $1,399 for the current cheapest version of the Dobot M1, and will climb again as more units go.

Still, the cost remains aggressive when considering all the functions and applications available. The desktop robot arm includes two tool heads in the base package, with a choice from a 3D printer head, a laser engraver, a 4th axis attachment, a gripper hand or a suction cup. Additional tool heads can be added for an extra $80 each. A series of more advanced tools are also available, including a soldering kit, rail attachment for increased range, a $200 3D mouse, and a $600 visual kit for enabling computer vision. $6,099 buys the full mobility platform.

3D printing enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the Dobot M1’s desktop 3D printing capabilities are quite versatile, with a 400mm radius and a 250mm height printing area that can be extended with a 1m long trail.

The robot can be programmed in several ways. If put into learning mode, the Dobot M1 will record any movements its user assigns, then repeat those movements until mastered. For coders, the Dobot M1 also comes with a number of programming tools, APIs and SDKs, enabling a wide range of programmable tasks.

There’s no word on an official release date yet, but with competitors like the FLX.ARM and Makerarm running behind schedule, the Dobot M1 may well be the first affordable desktop robot arm to hit the market.


Posted in 3D Printer

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