Lynxmotion Robotic Arm

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

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.