Elephant Robotics MechArm Pi 270 is a six-axis robotic arm with a 270mm working radius, support for up to 250 grams payload, and that runs Debian/Ubuntu + ROS on a Raspberry Pi 4 single board computer.
The robotic arm was introduced last year in two separate crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo organized by MechArm, which has now joined Elephant Robotics, and now supports myStudio software to upgrade the software, provide video tutorials on how to use the robot, as well as maintenance and repair information.
MechArm Pi 270 key features and specifications:
- Controller – Raspberry Pi 4 Model B SBC with quad-core Cortex-A72 processor, dual-band WiFi 5 & Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
- Display I/F – 2x Micro HDMI output port up to 4Kp60
- Supported cameras – Official Raspberry Pi cameras or third-party USB cameras
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports
- Robotic arm
- 270mm working range
- 6 DoF via 6x magnetic encoder motors
- Payload up to 250 grams
- Up to 120°/s movement speed
- Positioning accuracy – ±1 mm
- Expansion – 40-pin GPIO header
- Power input – 8-12V/5A DC jack
- Weight – 1 kilogram
The design reminds me of the MyCobot Pi 280 robotic arm we covered last year, so I’ve asked Elephant Robotics, and Lisha Qiu, part of the marketing team, listed the main differences as follows:
- The working range: 280mm vs 270mm, and MechArm is smaller.
- The arm structure: all 6 axis, but mechArm 270 Pi is centrosymmetric. This means it’s more reliable since each joint has 2 parts holding it.
- The style: the color is grey for MechArm.
- The base: the controller is the same, but the appearance is a little smaller, and it is the same as the one of myPalletizer Pi, which means users can switch bases if they have a myPallertizer already.
The robotic arm comes preloaded with an Ubuntu 18.04 image with Python, myStudio, myBlockly, ROS, OpenCV, and driver libraries to get started out of the box after simply connecting a monitor and USB keyboard and mouse. More details to get started may be found in the documentation.
MechArm Pi 270 is sold for $799 on Elephant Robotics online store, where you can also add options such as an adaptive gripper, a G-Shape base, a suction pump, a camera flange, etc… That’s the same price as the myCobot Pi 280 robotic arm, which was introduced for $699 last year, so inflation does show even in robots.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.