Opinion Robot Arm

Why Would I Need Robot Arms?

Robot arms can decouple (separate) the arm doing the work from the mind thinking about the work.  Here are a few ideas of how you can benefit.

Robot arms decoupling for Health and Safety

Robots can work where humans cannot, and this is a great health benefit.  They don’t need to breathe, drink, or worry about low levels of radiation.

Perhaps the most common industrial uses are grinding, welding, and cutting robots.  Humans can’t be hurt if they are nowhere near the danger.  How do you avoid shark attacks?  Stay out of the water!  Glues, acids, paints, and other dangerous chemicals also come to mind.  Weak human flesh is weak!  OSHA probably love robot arms.

Consider: what if affordable robot arms could be put into hospitals?  Imagine a west african country dealing with an Ebola outbreak.  Today in 2018 the doctors have to wear full body protection and clean themselves very carefully at the risk of infection.  It’s a sealed, full body plastic suit, in the African summer, while trying to care for patients!  Heat stroke is a real problem.  Boots full of sweat is just gross.  If the doctors could work remotely they would be both safer and more comfortable.

Robot arms decoupling for Time

A robot arm is always ready to work, while the human operator is not.  But suppose the humans work in shifts?  Now the arm is running around the clock, and employing people on both sides of the globe at the same time.

Of course there is the far more traditional time decoupling where a robot arm is given a highly repeatable and very boring job.  This saves the expensive time of the human trainer.  It also makes sure that the entire job is done with the patience, consistency, and precision needed.  No falling asleep and missing one item in the middle of a million.

Robot arms decoupling for Security

For some, a robot arm brings peace of mind.

Suppose your business has a lot of very valuable, very portable stock.  Diamonds, marijuana, whatever.  As the business owner your big concern is making sure employees don’t take your stuff home.  What if they could work from home and never know where the job is being done?  They can’t directly touch the merchandise.  They don’t know the location of the merchandise!  It’s very hard to commit a crime without means and opportunity.

Robot arms decoupling for Extreme Distance

Working remotely can be taken to any extreme.  There are robot arms on Mars rovers Curiosity and Opportunity.  One day soon Marginally Clever robots will be assembling structures on the moon and humans will be doing the thinking for those arms from here on earth.

Final Thoughts

Have you got other reasons to use robot arms?  Personal examples?  Picture to illustrate these examples?  Share below or in the forums.


Robot Arms Running Marginally Clever Open Source Code

Marginally Clever open source code is gaining traction around the world as young makers use it to build ever more amazing machines.

Pete from Fablab013 in the Netherlands says,

we used your gcodeCNCdemo to power our 3d printed robot arm.

Print time : 80+ hours
programming time : 10 minutes

Next thing you know they’ll upgrade to Evil Minion firmware so they can drive it from Robot Overlord – and we’re looking forward to it!

As we’ve said for years, affordable robot arms are the next step.  Marginally Clever wants to make that future get here quicker.  Part of that plan is we’ve been giving away the code to make it happen.  We’ve also designed our own arms, and we’re looking to help other talented robot arm designers.  We want to work with anyone else who dreams like we do.