My own Robotic arm

Posted: February 26, 2010 in Mechanical

Because I always wanted my own robotic arm I bought one 2 years ago, it was a kit of Velleman a KSR10 the goal was to make it automated so I could control if from my computer. To do this I had to make a H-bridge driver board, which I could control via the parallel port. I made a board that could satisfy these needs but it did not work. So after a while the project was out of my vision. Then about a half a year ago I saw this usb control kit which was made for the KSR10 robotic arm and with that kit the problem was solved. I bought the kit and plugged it in, but after a little time playing with it I found out that the programming software did not satisfy my needs. It was controlled by the time one of the motors was on so if you change the direction in which you where traveling it missed its position because of the gears and their  backlash and that made the whole programming useless. So I only did play like 1 day with it and the fun of it was gone…

This was for me a motivation to build a robotic arm that was powered by servo’s which does not lose any steps. At my school there where some Lynx 6 robotic arms, and I decided to build a better one with some other friends from school. The first step was to measure the arms at school and make a raw drawing of it with some modification. Then because the project did not go fast enough for me, I did mill one from 4mm hardboard on my homemade cnc machine, for testing and just to have it already. It came out quite well and it does work properly. It is not finished totally, it misses the gripper but here are some pictures, and a little video. Also there is a total drawing in DXF format, but I did not draw a gripper for it yet and there are some small differences at the design to make it all work better. For Solidworks drawings, ask me.

For drawings, check the thingiverse site:

Here’s the drawing in Solidworks, I first did draw it in Autocad but for the visualization I used solidworks.

With my friends from school we are going to build a robotic arm that is kind of open source and we are going to program it with an arduino. Also there is going to be a infrared receiver, so you can program and control it via a universal remote control. To make it much more interesting we are also going to make a possibility to program it in JAVA via a computer with RS-232. And the most exciting thing is, we are  going to program an so called “teach in” method for it so we can move the arm by hand and the arduino or computer is going to record those changes in the potentiometer. Then we can convert those readings and make a pulse signal of it, and send them back to the robotic arm.

This article will be updated with the electronics and stuff, hope you like it!

  1. Aggaz says:

    This is amazing! I really need a cnc… 🙂

  2. Viktor says:

    look this link! this way to connect KSR10 to computer via usb port.

  3. jjshortcut says:

    I do have that kit, but it didn’t satisfy my needs..

  4. Michael says:

    hi, i’m student and i really like your project. I’m interested about your robotic arm drawing in solidworks, can you send me an email with your drawing?my email is

  5. asph says:

    I love it! Where can I get the parts to get started?

  6. Evan says:

    I am building this out of plexiglass on a laser. I actually am sitting her right by the laser and just have to press a button to start it. I will let you know how it works!

    • Evan says:

      Here, not her

      • Evan Grace says:

        Finished on the laser! I will post pictures soon and most likely on thingiverse! I am having some concerns about the building process, but i will figure it out hopefully!

  7. Help Me says:

    This just AMAZING ._.

  8. Help Me says:

    And the link is dead 😦

  9. wilson caro says:

    please the link is dead 😦

  10. Nikola says:

    Hello friend 🙂 I would like to ask you, if possible, to send me your skypename or MSN if you have, because I would like to talk to you about this knowledge, ”cnc” of yours. I’m interested in it, and it’s also very interesting how you did that. I am studying automatics, so I am kind of interested in it.
    Thanks in advance, regards

  11. Elvizz says:


    Great job! I am just preparing to get my parts lasercut from Formulor. While preparing the SVG file, I was wondering how you did the “counter joints”. So on the one side, you have the servo “arm” and on the other side you need a joint. I do not get it from your images nor the video. 😦

    Does your solution work or do you know a better one? 🙂

    Thanks for open-sourcing this cool project!

    • jjshortcut says:

      I used plastic bearings, please check on the thingiverse website, there you can see what parts I used.

      • Elvizz says:

        Thanks for the quick reply! Oh, sorry! Somehow I missed those two bearings on thingiverse 😦
        So did you 3d-print them or can you buy them somewhere? So far I could not find them (or something similar) anywhere.

  12. Nikola says:

    why dont u answer me i asked u nicely ?

    • jjshortcut says:

      Hi, lately I’m not that active on my blog since I’m not at home for a couple of months so I only can answer quick questions. I’m sorry.. I can answer some questions but no Skype or so..

  13. Nikola says:

    Yes but , i really want to meet person like you, who know this… I am really bad at electronic but REALLY want to learn, .. I understand that you are often busy, but you can attempt to help or get front your fan… You have my mail, i will be not boring and i wll be grateful you …

  14. varma says:

    hi!! really a great job!!
    thanks a lot for sharing the h/w part of it..
    i am looking for the s/w part of it..
    cud u plz share the coding and the mc part of it … plz…

  15. Carlo Mares says:

    hi ! do you use pic16f877a in this arm if you do can i have a copy of the code that you use? thank you i really need it for our project. heres my email

  16. sagar says:

    I have build my own robotic arm with 5DOF and my own design but the motors are not able to hold the weight of arm, so plz tell me how did you managaged to make is strong by using spring.

  17. Pratyush Vardhan says:

    I’m making a robot arm with DC motors but not have an idea how to fix the motors in the elbow. I have made the shoulder already. Please can you tell how to make the elbow? Thanks.

  18. Apozas says:

    This project is great, but I need the pcb board in eagle for controlling the servos, because the link is not function any more, please help me, Thanks.

    • Ankit Agarwal says:

      hii, I also want to make robot arm but am not understanding that which types of equipment are required for prepare it so please tells me required equipment for make it and also rating of equipment……? THANK YOU

  19. viet says:

    thank you, hope you help me please cad drawing of robot models that I do graduation thesis

  20. viet says:

    thank you, hope you help me please cad drawing of robot models that I do graduation thesis mail:

  21. hoang ngoc phuc says:

    thank you, hope you help me please cad drawing of robot models that I do graduation thesis mail:


  22. Hirantha Dili says:

    Hey Im Hirantha. The arm its really cool. Can you plz drop me an email of ur drawing and the programming code. Thnk You……!!

  23. Ankur says:

    this is really awesome…can you please drop it to my email please please please

  24. wutticho piyavat says:


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