Designed for light manufacturing jobs, the Dobot Company is developing its first robotic arm. The DOBOT M1 is a connected robot that is capable of cutting, moving, 3D printing, picking up, and soldering. The basic package includes two tool heads with the option of choosing from a 3D printer head, a 4-axis attachment, a laser engraver, a suction cup, or a gripper hand.
Even though intended for small business purposes, this is one powerful desktop assistant. From M1’s 0.2 mm precision to a 1.5 kg workload, this will be one of the “powerful multi-function robots” sitting atop your desk – especially if you’re a DIY maker. As a 3D printer, the M1 has a 400mm reach and a 200mm printing height area. There’s an optional rails attachment that increases the robot’s range by an additional one meter.
So what makes the DOBOT M1 worth the $3,000 price tag? The Dobot Company describes the M1 as “the perfect calibration of Servo motor, harmonic reducer, and kinematic algorithm inside DOBOT.” In other words, the M1 is not just a super-sophisticated precision printer/engraver – it’s a programmable robot capable equipped with machine learning technology. In DOBOT’s Learning Mode, for example, operators can grab its head and move its arm around to teach it a specific task. The M1 will record the exact sequence of your movements and repeat them until the desired task is completed.
Backed by an intuitive SDK interface, developers can customize DOBOT’s functionality and tailor it specifically to the desired project – whether that be line engraving using its 500 MW PWM modulated laser or rapid precision prototyping with its 3D printer head. With advanced tool options that include a 3D mouse ($200), a computer vision kit ($600), a soldering kit and a rail attachment, you can instantly transform a small workshop into a light manufacturing factory. The entire platform will set you back $6,099.
It’s tough to call the DOBOT M1 an entry-level robot with all of its bells and whistles. For one, this is a connected device backed by a sophisticated companion app. This allows users to program the device and at the same time, keep track of various projects underway. The SDK self-developed user interface only means DOBOT’s functionality will improve with time. Finally, the M1’s performance is rather impressive:
Linear Speed: 2,000mm/sec
2-axis Speed: 1,000mm/sec
Payload: 1.5 kg
Rotation: 4-degrees of Freedom
Whether you’re a DIY maker who owns a small factory building components or the head of a materials science department interested in a user-friendly 3D printer, the DOBOT M1 is a perfect accessory for light manufacturing. The first round of M1’s have an estimated ship date of June (2017).