Mar.1, 2014

Want to build your own Delta Robot Kit? If you do then you should have a look of Robot Army Starter Kit launched in February on Kickstarter.

The Robot Army Starter Kit is a do-it-yourself Delta Robot kit that's fun to build and can be included in your own project. With the use of an FTDI cable you can plug your delta's brain PCB into your computer and upload new code to it with the Arduino programming platform.

The kit includes all of the delta's mechanical pieces in grey and neon yellow plastic (the yellow fluoresces under black light!), all of the spacers, brackets, ball bearings, and hardware required to assemble them, and the electronic components, PCB and wire harness needed to wire it up and give the delta power.

Check out the video after the jump to learn more about the Delta Robot kit.

Sarah Petkus of Robot Army began her delta advanture two years ago. Since she had just got out of art school, she was no longer having access to the machine shop, so she made her parts from anything plastic she could find, like hangers and tupperware.

She spent many late nights reading threads on forums learning how a delta robot moved and how to mount the delta robot. Since she didn't have anything fancy to use at the time, her first working prototype was practically a togo box with motors and it worked:

The next step was to shrink the design and refine the method so it could be repeated with ease. Her next prototype was still made of plastic, and this time she used cylindrical boxes as new bases for her robots. Everything was looking perfect until she wired it up and ran some code. The two-dollar micro servos simply couldn't make the robot working well.

"I wasn't really happy with this… but two dollars a motor was all I could afford at the time (I was still living at home with the folks). Eager to try again when I could invest in some more quality materials… I started rethinking the entire design." says Sarah.

When one day she got a chance to show off her second prototype at the local hackspace 'Syn Shop', she met Mark Koch who is now her collaborator and many other inspired people who have the same passion for creating and sharing ideas.

"This is when the discovery of 3D printing changed my life." says Sarah. Mark suggested that she designs her delta's parts in CAD and 3D print them.

Up until then, I had no clue that desktop 3D printers even existed, so my mind was blown when I saw his Replicator for the first time. The usefulness of this tool was revolutionary. I could continue building my robots in plastic like I had been, but I wouldn't have to machine my parts as if they were metal. How easy!

She spent the rest of the year learning Sketchup. In 2013 Sarah and Mark come up with a solution for those expensive and convoluted swivel ball links that Sarah had been stuck since the begnning. They used some sort of U-joint that could compress onto ball bearings and twist freely in all directions as a replacement.

"This was an important quality because now we could completely divorced ourselves from having to source out any hobby parts. This means aside from some hardware, we no longer had to buy link joints, or cut rod in order to make the robot work. Everything was designed in CAD. Everything was 3D printed. My cost went down significantly, and at last I had the perfect model which I could realistically expect to afford building in mass… and all I had to do was hit 'print'." explains Sarah.


"Once we mastered this technicality, it was a matter of implementing it throughout our designs. My personal delta robot went through many…….. many revisions before it became the thing it is now:"

Last spring her first polished delta made from 3D printed parts was completed and she named it Jeden. Sarah and Mark have been working together even since and within a year they have brought a refined delta robot kit to Kickstarter.

Their long term goal is to create an army of these little yellow robots and control them with a combination of motion capture and neural input so that they can be choreographed in real time.

The Delta Robot kit project is currently raising pledges on Kickstarter. So if you like the project, visit the Kickstarter website now to make a pledge and help Delta Robot kit become a reality.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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John Cook wrote at 12/23/2016 3:17:54 PM:

Hi, I am working on a project that I need some help on.I have been struggling with making a small wooden figure on my lathe. I have not been able to find a satisfactory way to make a joint for the arms,legs,knees, etc. The figure is about 12 inches tall.I noticed your picture on the web and wondered if there might be a fit. The picture with the white plastic and metal ball looks like it might work. I would use a wooden ball of course but it might work. I don't understand about 3D printing very much(I'm 65) but your picture is as close as I have seen as to what I need. Could you please help me? Thank you very much. John Cook

Perry Engel (aka cerberus333) wrote at 3/4/2014 6:45:11 AM:

Glad they got the kickstarter funded. really a fun idea. I am sure it will be a hit. art and tech make for cool stuff not possible before!

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