I am looking some good place to buy a training robotic arm kit. Preferably in Italy or with in Europe. I am thinking that OWI 007 Robotic Arm Trainer will serve the purpose. Arm can be viewed at:
Can anyone please point me to good store in Italy or one that functions in Europe for this kit. I am looking forward to buy arm along with all motor drivers, controller and a serial PC interface. Any help in this regard will be much appreciated.
Has any of you have any experience with this kit, if so, can you please share your experience, I am thinking of putting a camera on the gripper and using it for tracking objects.
I used to have the toy owi arm. Remember it is only a toy and is slow with limited strength. I made my own interface to the parallel port of a PC. The control panel that can be bought for the arm was for some reason expensive for what you got and as it was to be computer controlled I knew i could build my own interface for a fraction of the price.
I put an old monochrome quick cam camera just after the elbow on a bent aluminum strip pointing toward the gripper so it could "see" what it was going to pick up.
I made it move a little faster by doubling the voltage to the motors (6 volts instead of 3 volts) but it was still very slow.
I used POTS on the shoulder and elbow joints and read them via the games port. The wrist does not bend only rotate. I didn't use the rotation keeping the gripper fingers horizontal with the table. I had intended to use it to "play" with some children's blocks.
I also used limit switches for the shoulder and elbow using the fire buttons on the game port. The camera would provide information as to what direction the arm had rotated to.
One problem was the hand didn't have any "feeling". Without touch manipulating an object purely by vision is difficult. So adding button switches and whiskers to the arm would be a good idea. Vision is ok to find and identify an object but we rely mostly on touch to actually manipulate an object.
The monochrome camera used a second parallel port to input images to the PC program.
If I ever wanted to play with a robotic arm in the future I would build my own using hydraulics for speed and strength so it could actually do useful things.