Sep 16, 2015 | By Kira

There’s a new robot in town, and it has everyone from the co-founder of Arduino to the former VP of Twitter talking. The next big thing in desktop robotics is a 4-axis high accuracy, high repeat precision, stepper motor, open source, Arduino-based robotic arm—but if you think that’s a mouthful, you can also call it Dobot.

Designed by a team of six ambitious industrial robot engineers, the Dobot can draw, write, text, move, grab things, and 3D print parts and food, all with a precision error margin of just 0.2mm. And because the team wanted Dobot to be as useful and accessible as possible, they have developed it so that everyone, including makers and non-makers, engineers, educators, designers, parents and even children, can get the most out of it depending on their individual needs. To that end, the Dobot can be controlled via seven different methods, including PC, mobile app, leap motion, EEG, vision, gesture and even mind control. It is sleek, small, optimized to be smooth and silent, and almost guaranteed to find a use in your day-to-day life.

For more advanced makers, the Dobot provides exciting opportunities to learn more about robotics and coding, and can be an essential part of their own projects. The team also plans to make the Dobot completely open source (it will support three types OpenSource Firmware including grbl and Marlin), so that users can modify, customize and improve it as necessary. They will also be able to write endless new motion functions to add to the Arduino library. “Dobot is a maker team and we create what’s best for makers,” said the developers. “As a group of devoted open source fans, we believe open source makes the world better by levering the power of collective minds.”

The video above shows the robotic arm performing a number of incredibly diverse yet every day tasks, such as spreading jam on a piece of toast, spooning sugar into a cup of coffee, teaching Chinese calligraphy, dialing on a smartphone, and even threading a needle—all with extreme precision. For 3D print enthusiasts, the Dobot doubles as a desktop 3D printer, capable of printing with both plastic and food-based filaments.

The Dobot uses 3D printing techniques to print a pair of glasses (above) and prepare breakfast (below)

The wide variety of functions the Dobot can perform is all part of the engineers’ vision to make robotic, open source technology accessible to everyone, so of course, keeping it affordable was a necessity. “We wanted to make sure the Dobot is accessible to everyone. Through immense effort and countless negotiations with suppliers, we were able to get better deals without compromising the quality and reliability.” To raise funds, the developers have launched a Kickstarter Campaign, that has already reached a jaw-dropping $78,555 as of this writing. The basic arm costs only $499, with various upgrades and accessories available at extra cost. In addition, the company is offering discounts and refunds via a special Dobot Promotion Code for random supporters.


"I'm lucky to get the chance to see lots of hardware projects, but Dobot's blend of high production value, precision and openness has me really excited!" said Jeremy Gordon, former VP of Twitter. The co-founder of Arduino, Massimo Banzi, also pledged his support for the Dobot Team at the 2015 Shenzhen Maker Faire: “This is a very interesting project and I really like it,” he said. “This is not a toy and it also can be used to build stuff…When on [Kickstarter], I will buy one!"

With just about two months to go and early bird packages already completely sold out, this is Banzi’s (and your) chance to support Dobot and the entire team’s ambitious, affordable, open source robotics dream.


Posted in 3D Printers



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Craig wrote at 12/5/2016 6:40:44 PM:

I call bull shit on this one. Brain response. Really?!

p wrote at 12/27/2015 10:59:12 PM:

??? get me one.

Jim wrote at 9/19/2015 7:44:07 PM:

I think it is awesome to help get 3d printing part automatically, just like the industrial robot get part from injection machine.

lee wrote at 9/19/2015 6:29:10 AM:

It just for the 3 steppers to get precision 0.2mm, but in acuator there is other one or two servo motor you can choose to assemble it for orientation, so it can be 4 or 5 axis or Degree of Freedom. Thank you very much!

Tank wrote at 9/18/2015 1:30:38 PM:

Interesting, but the 3d printing part doesn't seem very practical. Very slow, not that nimble. Maybe if it had a real extruder.

Tank wrote at 9/18/2015 1:28:48 PM:

Interesting, but the 3d printing part doesn't seem very practical. Very slow, not that nimble. Maybe if it had a real extruder.

RAMBo wrote at 9/17/2015 2:51:50 PM:

It is 3 axis

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