Build & Program a Robot Arm in a Weekend!

Join us for this in-person workshop at Circuit Launch where you will build and program a robot arm in just one weekend! Over two days, you will build a 3 degree-of-freedom (3DOF) robot arm, then run software on it from a Raspberry Pi to pick up objects. This class is for those looking to take their first plunge into the world of robotics. You will learn the basics of several key robotics concepts including mechanical design, rapid-prototyping, electronics and microcontrollers, sensors and actuators, and programming with ROS, the Robot Operating System.

What will you learn?

At Circuit Launch we love to learn by doing and our project based approach underpins all our education programs. In this two day program you will learn how to:
  • Assemble and test the mechanical components (stepper motors, bearings, belts etc)
  • Integrate and test sensors
  • Learn how stepper motors work and how to program them
  • Learn how to set up and put firmware on an Arduino microcontroller
  • Assemble and test the electronics, including how to power the system
  • Connect a microcontroller and control it over serial from a Raspberry Pi
  • Connect to the arm using the Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • Learn how to program a homing sequence for the arm
  • Use inverse kinematics algorithms to pilot the arm
  • Teleoperate the arm from your keyboard
  • Create motion plans and play them on the arm
  • Pick and place an object
  • Visualize your arm motions on a computer monitor
The registration fee includes 2 days of tuition, students aged 12-18 are free with a paying adult (1 kit per pair). You have the option to take the robot arm home for an additional $150 with Raspberry Pi4 ($110 if you bring or use your own Pi4).

Saturday 17 July Schedule

10am - 12pm: Intro to main topics, key resources and start mechanical assembly. 12pm: Lunch break (bring your lunch or buy lunch nearby). 1pm - 4pm: Finish mechanical assembly, electrical assembly, test stepper motors, test switches.

Sunday 18 July Schedule

10am - 12pm: Crash course in Robot Operating System (ROS) 12pm: Lunch break. 1pm - 4pm: Robot arm teleoperation, inverse kinematics, creating animation, pick & place an object.

Special Notice: COVID-19

Students enrolled in this class will be required to wear masks at all times indoors regardless of vaccination status or current CDC or County guidelines. All surfaces will be sanitized and we have Molekule Air Filtering machines in the Lab workspace.