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Robotic Arm

By Mike Smorto |
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I recently retired and one of things I promised myself was that when I did retire I was going to complete all those projects I had running around inside my head since I was a teenager. That's about 50 years or so of projects. In those days there were no microprocessors and you needed your own machine shop to make the mechanical parts.

One of the projects was building a robot arm from the ground up. Kits are nice, but its all done for you and you never quite learn all the in's and out's of the project. Besides, I always wind up tinkering with them anyway to make them work the way I what them to work.

Among those things that I learned and was needed for the project was to overcome the mechanical challenges of designing and building the arm, forward and inverse kinematics to control the positioning of the arm, and developing the software to control the arm. Thankfully, there is a lot of information out there on the web to help with all these topics.

I want to thank the following tinkers and builders for their efforts that aided me developing the software for this project:

Travis Wolf for his blog on Inverse Kinematics, Operational space control of 6DOF robot arm with spiking cameras part 2: Deriving the Jacobian and for taking time to answer several questions.

Quark for his excellent G4P library for Processing 3.0 and for resolving several challenges at the Processing Forum as well as GoToLoop.

bboner's Robotic Arm with Arduino driver controlled by Leap Motion at letmakerobots for the the base code and ideas for the Processing GUI and Arduino sketch.

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