If you search the internet for "low-cost robotic arm" you are presented with two disparate groups. One is the toy robotic arm, comprised of cheap dc motors, or "rc servos", and priced < $1000. The remaining group, low-cost robotic arms for manufacturing or research, priced between $10k to $40k. What you do not find is a robotic arm that is truly low-cost, precise, and functional. Why is that? Simply put, building a low-cost, precision, and functional robotic arm is hard, really hard.
At Flux Integration we develop software and hardware to seamlessly allow our users to design and manufacture products. Everyday we develop prototypes and refine those prototypes for manufacturing. Many of our prototypes require the integration of mechanical and electrical components. 3D printing, electronics pick-and-place, solder paste dispensing, CNC milling, and CNC routing are some of the operations we perform to prototype a product. Many individuals and small companies do not have the budget to purchase a machine to perform each one of these operations. The alternative is to purchase a single modular platform to perform as many operations as possible.
In addition to modularity, a machine platform should be collaborative. Human-machine collaboration is essential, but so is machine-machine collaboration. The collaborative nature of a robotic arm is what differentiates it from all other machine platforms. Collaboration enables a robotic arm to change tools and load parts on a CNC mill or lathe and provides scalability with 3D printing, pick and place, and assembly operations.
ALLY - FLX.ARM.S16.Z10 is both modular and collaborative. Priced at < $5000 it competes with cartesian coordinate machines on price. Robotic arms are the machine platform of the future and now we have an option that the rest of us can afford.