Introduction: Easy and Simple Arduino Robot Arm

Picture of Easy and Simple Arduino Robot Arm
Hello fellow iblers!

This is to serve as a small guide to replicating my most recent project; an Arduino based robotic arm.

First off I would like to acknowledge the help of Instructables user steveastrouk for getting me started on the programming, and my good friend Sean Ulrich for spending 6 hours debugging this thing with me.

Do to a technology failure I don't have any of the progress pictures otherwise this would be a full ible, I apologize for the inconvenience and hope that I supply enough information here to help get you on your way. So let's get started!

Here is a list of parts I used:

1x Arduino Uno
4x Large Servo
1x Medium Servo
1x Robotic Claw
1x Small Breadboard
4x Potentiometer
2x Toggle Switch
1x Battery Case for 4 D-cells (6v)
1x Arduino Battery Clip
~2 square feet of birch plywood 1/8' thickness
1/2 inch diameter basswood dowels
2x 1'x1'x3' blocks of basswood
~2.5 lbs of lead beads
5x servo wire extensions
Some decent compression spring to keep the load off of the servos when fully extended
Some kind of enclosure (I used tin boxes I bought at Michael's)

And an absolute buttload of hot glue.

The Code is attached as a txt file.

Please take not of the footnotes on the pictures for more details.

EDIT: Here is a video-


Hanna M (author)2016-10-25

Hello, i wanted to know how to program the arduino, a few pointers please

afarhan7 (author)2016-07-19

someone can explain this line of code

val = map(val, 0, 1023, 0, 179);

MrHazee (author)afarhan72016-07-22

yeah, its "mapping" the value of the variable "val" and stores the new value in variable "val". I.e, the analog range that the arduino reads is between 0-1023 and you wanna control the servo with this value, but the servo operates on values between 0-179. So map-function is scaling the value (in this example) from range 0-1023 to 0-179

WalidS11 (author)2016-03-15

please can you send me the circuit diagram

sundarofclass10 (author)2016-02-19

pls send me the circuit diagram

siddhant maurya (author)2015-11-18

[Robotic arm home made - YouTube]. Have a look at it!

shafrasn (author)2015-11-16

I also have MG995 metal gear Servos and can I use these servos for this project. Do you know whether this will work or not? Please give us the model and configuration of the Servos that you used.

RishikeshC (author)2015-11-16

I made it but the servo act randomly

When When I power it the servo vibrate back and forth on their own

They also respond late to potentiometer a little late

I have sg5010 servos and 100k ohm pots


RishikeshC (author)2015-11-16

I used so 50th motors and 100k ohm potentiometer is it okay ?

RishikeshC (author)2015-11-16

I made it but the motors are behaving random

Like when u power it the servos on the forearm and shoulder start vibrating on their own move back and forth about 4-5 mm also they respond to the potentiometer a little late


shafrasn (author)2015-11-14

can you please tell me the model and type of servo motors you used in the project

shafrasn (author)2015-11-13


I have planned to use tower pro SG5010 (stall torque (11kg/cm)) for this project. Can I use them for this project. Please help me in this regard.

RishikeshC (author)2015-10-15

I dint understand few things:

1) what are the potpin?

2) what do the toggle switches Do?

Also I would like to have the circuit diagram

Any help would be appreciated thnx

martzsam (author)RishikeshC2015-10-15

The circuit diagram is available within the instructable. The toggle switches stop and start the flow if power from both the arduino and the servos. The potpin is the name I gave to the pins that the potentiometer s connect to in the code.

RishikeshC (author)martzsam2015-10-28

Thank you really appreciate the help

RishikeshC (author)2015-10-28

I see thanks for clearing

omodolor.stevedan (author)2015-10-18

a potpin is name he used as a variable to indicate the digital in the motherboard

mohammed zaki (author)2015-09-14

i need source code in c program

thecrazylol (author)2014-10-15

did the same setup, but only 3 servos and 3 potentiometers. everything else is the same. deleted the 4th and 5th servo in the code and also deleted the 4th and 5th potentiometer. I have an external power source of 5v. the servos are working, but don't respond as i turn the potentiometer. what did go wrong?

martzsam (author)thecrazylol2014-10-15

If you post a picture of your setup i will be able to help you better.

Maybe you didn't attach the wires to the approriate pins?

KR10 (author)martzsam2015-07-16

can u send pdf to me

thecrazylol (author)martzsam2014-10-15

servo1 is attached to pin3, servo2 to pin5, servo3 to pin6. potentiometer1 to analog pin A1, potentiometer2 to analog pin A2 and potentiometer3 to analog pin A3. like it is described in the code, but then with two less.

martzsam (author)thecrazylol2014-10-15

It looks like you are sharing a power source between the potentiometers and the servos. I your source doesn't have the ability to supply enough amps your pots could starve out.

Here is a quick checklist of things to try.

1. Run the servos on a separate source from the arduino board.

2. Run the pots on the 5v out port from the arduino and ground properly.

3. Make sure the arduino is receiving 9v and

4. Make sure your servos are getting the optimal amount of voltage for them to function. (5v may be a bit low.)

5. Double check the code to make sure all your pins are correct.

KR10 (author)2015-07-16

can u send pdf file

aashlesha (author)2015-04-29

bakhosrahme (author)2014-12-25

Can you use stepper motors instead?

bakhosrahme (author)2014-12-25

Can you use stepper motors instead?

andrea_senz (author)2014-11-30

Hi Sir, i can't understand some things...

In the picture you posted there is 4 potenziometer while in the diagram circuit you use 5 potenziometer and also in source code you declaire 5 potenziometer!

Also , in the diagram circuit you attach the signal of the servos in digital pin 1,2,3,4 and 5 while in the code source you attach the servo in 3,5,6,9,12

Can you make me understood, please?

thank you

yoppo (author)2014-11-22

hello, excuse me but what are the specs of the servos? are they continuous rotation?

martzsam (author)yoppo2014-11-23

They are just size large 180 degree servos. NOT continuous.

srishti b (author)2014-07-29

cn i hv its circuit diagram

martzsam (author)srishti b2014-07-30

A diagram of it's wiring is already available in the instructable :)

spyrossan (author)2014-05-05

which arduino could I use for it??

Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller - Atmel ATmega328 or Arduino Uno - Atmel Atmega 328-PU

martzsam (author)spyrossan2014-05-06

I used the Arduino Uno R3.

ovydyu (author)2014-03-31

Hi,can you please tell me the specifications for the servomotors.I have found many large servos with different specifications and i don't know exactly what to buy.

It will be of big help if you putt the links from where you buy it. Thank you.

rosman1 (author)2014-03-30

about the wrist servo, this is just a idea, but maybe it is because there is something wrong with the servo. does it work by itself?? Thanks

aaggarwal7 (author)2014-03-26

Can u mail me the PDF on
Thank you very much!!!

martzsam (author)aaggarwal72014-03-28

this is a link that should take you directly to the PDF.

msafwan (author)2014-03-01

Sir can i make it work wirelessly

jlim34 (author)2013-10-15

Hey sir, I am doing similar project, is there any way make the robotic arm work like this when we do a colour sorting project? means that the robot will grab the object and run in a predesigned path and allocated it into different colour station along the path

martzsam (author)jlim342013-10-15

Hi! This is a manually controlled robot, meaning their is no autonomous function. A robot that performs a set of predefined tasks would require a bit more programming effort and a different set of hardware. Although it wouldn't be too hard to adapt this robot for your purposes. Do you have access to some kind of color sensor?

jlim34 (author)martzsam2014-02-11

Hey sir, yes I have, I have bought Arduino servos all those plus the TSC 3200D colour sensor. here is the image below... Can we contact at email? or facebook? here is my fb.

Here is the picture on some of the material

aminerobo (author)2013-12-06

Hey sir, I am want similar project , but with Remote Control
anyone want to help
thank you

keena98 (author)2013-11-02

how exactly did you construct the hand?

yurekang (author)2013-10-08

what i can't download the pdf?

martzsam (author)yurekang2013-10-08

Only pro users can download the PDF.

sindhuja sindhu (author)2013-09-01

sir im going to do the same project.please can i know the specifications of the servo motors.and can u please give the comments for the code lines

DeVid3aN (author)2013-06-28

hey what OHM potentiometers? probably a dumb question but I'm going to try construct something like this and noticed there was a massive range of them. im a newbie to this kind of thing


martzsam (author)DeVid3aN2013-06-28

10k. They are pretty much the best for this project. Don't limit yourself to knobs though! These come in all kinds like sliders too.

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