Lynxmotion Robotic Arm

I’ve recently built a Lynxmotion 6 Robotic Arm for Seminole Community College — to be used for attracting new students to science-related fields. (I teach C# and Game Programming (using XNA) classes as SCC.)

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Here are a few screenshots:

 

The parts list looked something like:

I’m very impressed with the quality of the Lynxmotion kit. The manuals (available online) were well written and easy to follow, the Lexan parts were well cut, and everything came together pretty easily. The SSC-32 Servo Controller, included with the kit, seems very good, but I haven’t written any software for it yet. If I do, it’ll be something akin to the BrainStem.NET library, and I’ll make it available to anyone interested. The software included with the kit is called RIOS (Robotic arm Interactive Operating System). Someone spent a great deal of time on this — and it really shows. It worked out of the box with the XBox 360 controller, it was simple to use and had a ton of features. Seriously cool.

I mounted the camera by scavenging the hardware inside the flexible laptop-mount. Just a couple of screws and you can retask the piece that connects to the camera itself. This way you can pop the camera off and the mount stays put. A bit of velcro attached the new make-shift mount to the robotic arm.

The base of the arm is somewhat stabilized by the servo controller that you attach to the side, but even then it’s still pretty wobbly. So you need to mount the arm to some sort of platform. I had a spare piece of OSB hanging around so I cut it to a reasonable size and mounted the battery and the arm to it. The base of the arm has a screw-hole for just such a purpose, and I put a piece of velcro under the servo controller base. With these simple enhancements, the arm is rock-solid (but still removable). Same for the battery — a little velcro goes a long way (I have a thing for velcro — it’s a problem :))

Anyhow, I really want this to be a strong endorsement for Lynxmotion. I couldn’t be happier with their product. I also corresponded with Jim Frye a couple of times (Lynxmotion’s founder) and I speak just as highly for him. All around a great company to work with for your robotics projects.

If anyone is building this kit and needs some pointers, just shout.

Paul

7 Comments so far

  1. Yu Lin on March 5th, 2013

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the interesting post. wondering how to mount the camera. what is the flexible laptop-mount? can you provide some pictures of mounting procedures? Thank you.

    lin

  2. Paul on March 6th, 2013

    Hi Lin,

    The flexible laptop mount refers to the webcam camera mount. You can see a picture of it here: http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Logitech-QuickCam-Pro-5000-Web-Cam/00/$(KGrHqZ,!g4E1e1IQ-lTBNcleVN5Uw~~_35.JPG

    I took the flexible part off and reused the actual mounting hardware (the tiny screws and the plastic male-style mounting bracket that fits into the base of the camera).

    I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of the procedure to share with you.

    Paul

  3. Paul on March 6th, 2013

    Hi Lin,

    The flexible laptop mount refers to the webcam camera mount. You can see a picture of it here: http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Logitech-QuickCam-Pro-5000-Web-Cam/00/$(KGrHqZ,!g4E1e1IQ-lTBNcleVN5Uw~~_35.JPG

    I took the flexible part off and reused the actual mounting hardware (the tiny screws and the plastic male-style mounting bracket that fits into the base of the camera).

    I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of the procedure to share with you.

    Paul

  4. ryan on March 24th, 2013

    can it be controlled by a laptop rather than an xbox controller?
    thanks

  5. Paul on March 24th, 2013

    Certainly.

    Paul

  6. karthik on January 18th, 2014

    is that the arm is 360 degree rotatable?

  7. Paul on January 18th, 2014

    Yes, I believe it did rotate 360 degrees.

    Paul

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