Cheap industrial cobot

Cobots (collaborative-robots) are usually small, so many persons think that they should be cheaper than conventional industrial robots arm. They also often don’t look so expensive. When I saw first-time Universal robots products I was a little bit disappointed: they look like made from plumber pipes. Unfortunately, prices of cobots are pretty high, but I found something cheaper which looks interesting.

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xArm – Affordable Cobot

xArm was backed on Kickstarter and it is one of the cheapest industrial robot available on the market. A short comparison shows that it is a few times cheaper than competitors.

Technical specification

I don’t know the complete specification, but the information provided by Ufactory looks promising. xArm uses BLDC motors +harmonic gearing at each joint and has 0.1mm repeatability. Version with 6 axes and a 5kg payload cost only 5k$. Looks like a very good offer for this price, but you should keep in mind that this model is not tested yet in an industrial environment.

Reliability is a key feature that we require from industrial robots. The high price of competitors is justified by the fact that their quality has been confirmed by thousands of customers. In case of problems, they can count on proven service and technical support. xArm has yet to convince customers that it offers the same high quality.

I wouldn’t decide to buy this robot to work in production, but it can be an interesting option for people who want to do research and learn robotics. In the future, when the whole thing will be proven, it may also be an interesting option for small companies.

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