Robotic arms can be used in a variety of ways and can be used to learn about the fundamentals of robotics, or even for doing work that is useful for enthusiasts. The work could involve selecting and putting components on PCBs, packing boxes or any other task you can think of. However, to do this work efficiently, the robot arm requires more hardware than what we typically find when working on DIY-related projects. Pavel Surynek wanted a high-performance robotic arm. The outcome was RR1: Real Robot One with closed-loop feedback to improve accuracy and ensure repeatability.
In an open loop robotic device, the control emits commands for positioning and does not receive any feedback. Since there is no feedback, the system doesn’t know whether the position is correct and cannot actively compensate for problems like backlash that occur within the motors. Closed loop feedback transmits real-time live-world data on the position for the controller and it will ensure that the results are in line with commands. RR1 receives closed loop feedback data from encoders located on every joint that are controlled by stepper motors that are three-dimensional printed planetary gearboxes.
The Arduino Due board controls the stepper motors using driver boards, and also monitors the encoders. The encoder information is sent to a computer named”RB1 The Real Box One and receives control commands back. The end effector that is shown in the video has a typical gripper, and it is comprised of 3D-printed components along with aluminum extrusion. This version RR1 has the maximum reach of around 80cm, and it can lift about 2kg. This is impressive enough, however Surynek intends to improve the device with a forthcoming revision.