Robotic arms seem like they belong in Sci-Fi movies, car factories and the dreams of DIY nerds. Dobot wants to change that, with a shiny new Kickstarter campaign bringing entry-level robotics to the desktop . The robot is extendable and can be equipped to deal with any number of tasks, including cutting, moving, printing, picking-upping, soldering, and a ton of other -ings.
Dobot M1 started at $999, but by the time you’re reading this, the 5 lucky super early bird backers have already snapped up the bargain-basement editions. The current cheapest version costs $1,399, but the price will raise again in another 40 units or so.
Dobot is great in case your chewing gum packs keep getting misaligned.
With the print head, it 3D prints stuff.
Add a laser to it, and it doubles as a weapon system for Star Wars. And, I suppose, to engrave wooden blocks.
This is my favorite though: It solders stuff! Who's a good robot? That's right. You are. You're a good robot.
The robot comes with two toolheads included with the base package, with a choice from a 3D printer head, a 4th axis attachment, a laser engraver, suction cup, or gripper hand. Additional toolheads can be added for $80 a pop. There’s also a series of advanced tools available, including a $200 3D mouse. $600 buys you a visual kit (which adds computer vision to the robot), a soldering kit (enabling the robot to do soldering for you!) or a rail attachment that increases the range of the robot.
For a cool $6,099, you can buy a full mobility platform which turns this cute little robot into the ultimate cat-terrorizing device. Or, y’know, I suppose you could use the mobility platform for good rather than for evil.
Programmable & extendable
The robot can be programmed in a number of ways. You can put it into learning mode and you can grab its head and move it around — the robot records the movements and repeats them until it gets bored. Which, given that it’s a robot, might take a while. It also comes with a number of programming tools, APIs and SDKs, meaning that if you know how to code, you can probably figure out how to program the robot to do your bidding.
Nobody’s going to argue that robots aren’t awesome, but as this is a Kickstarter campaign, the company is still facing quite a few hurdles before it is ready to ship.