Introduction: TROBOT: a Miniature Articulated Robot

Picture of TROBOT: a Miniature Articulated Robot
The TROBOT is a miniature six-axis articulated robot, modeled after large industrial & assembly line robots. The prototype versions were developed to be interfaced with ABB's Robot Studio software. Robot Studio was designed to program, simulate, and debug real industrial robots in an offline virtual environment. This project uses the power of ABB's 'Virtual Robot Controller' to actually generate robot positional data and to communicate directly to the TROBOT over Ethernet.

See the TROBOT in action here:

Complete detailed project documentation and source code can be found here:

• TROBOT 3.0, Honorable Mention – TI Design Stellaris 2010

• TROBOT 2.0, Honorable Mention – WizNET iMCU 2010

A new Kickstarter project is underway to develop a larger, more robust version of the TROBOT.  Backers of this project can select from rewards including complete TROBOT 3.0 (as shown here) or 4.0 (coming soon) kits.  For more information checkout the project TROBOT 4.0: A Miniature Articulated Robot  and find out how you can get your own TROBOT kit (Limited Time Only)!

Step 1: TROBOT 1.0

Picture of TROBOT 1.0

The TROBOT was created after I figured out a way to use ABB's Robot Studio software to communicate over Ethernet. I created the TROBOT just to see if I could make a miniature robot work --It worked surprisingly well. Now my goal is to create a low-cost robot that can do something significant.  

Step 2: TROBOT 2.0

Picture of TROBOT 2.0

The TROBOT 2.0 is made of 3/16" thick acrylic.  The wood base from version 1 was replaced with an acrylic cut design.  Metal Gear servos were used for the lower 3 axes.

Step 3: TROBOT 3.0

Picture of TROBOT 3.0

The TROBOT 3.0 was made from ABS with a few minor tweaks to the design.  ABS was chosen because it is a durable and very tough plastic, and can be chemically welded (bonded) to form tough glue joints.  

Step 4: Parts

Picture of Parts

The parts for the TROBOT's are designed in AutoCAD, then laser cut from 3/16” black ABS or Acrylic sheet. The entire design was cut from an 11”x 16”section (as shown).

Step 5: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

The laser cut parts are then cleaned & prepped to be glued together.  

The pictures above show the TROBOT sub-assemblies as they are being assembled.

Ready for servos:
This is essentially how the new TROBOT 3.0 kits will be shipped (when they are available).  

Step 6: Servos

Picture of Servos

The TROBOT uses RC (Radio Controlled) Servos:

An RC servo is controlled by a Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) signal -- Typically controlled by a 1mS to 2mS pulse that repeats every 20mS. 1.5 mS signal tells the servo to center, 1ms is full clockwise travel, 2mS is full counter-clockwise. Servos are available in many different configurations for the amount of travel possible. Some standard servos can move +/- 30º, some up to +/- 90º, some have full or even continuous rotation.

Step 7: TROBOT 4.0: a Miniature Articulated Robot

Picture of TROBOT 4.0: a Miniature Articulated Robot

An effort to create a new and improved TROBOT 4.0 is now underway.  Version 4 will be slightly larger and much improved over its predecessors. Featuring smoother motion, a stronger mechanical structure, more payload capacity, and more precision.   You can find out more about this exciting Kickstarter project from the video, or at the links below..

FOR A LIMITED TIME -- You can get your own TROBOT 3.0 or 4.0 kit !!!

Checkout the Kickstarter project for the new TROBOT 4.0: A Miniature Articulated Robot (COMING SOON) , and find out how you can get your own TROBOT kit!


Tinker83 (author)2011-06-24

seems kind of flimsy and wobbly to me... not nearly as sharp and smooth as the fullsize ABB welders i've worked with

tbaumg (author)Tinker832011-06-24

It is kinda flmsy. It was designed (quick and cheap) to prove I could interface it with ABB’s Robot Studio. Now that I know how, I’m building a more robust & more powerful one (which should be done by the end of this year). You can follow along with the new development project here:

frederyps (author)tbaumg2016-10-15

friend how program robotstudio to conect arduino

Maldrax (author)2016-05-28

On your site you comment that the control system is open source, but I can't find the files. Can you send the links?

lukra4eva (author)2011-08-06

I'm glad that you made it work but you failed to understand the purpose of this website. Its not even a tutorial or anything. You're just showing off while marketing the kit to sell it.

tbaumg (author)lukra4eva2011-08-19

This project is already heavily documented at the links shown in this instructable. I simply don’t have the time to create a detailed instructable for a project I’m no longer working on. My current focus is developing the next one which will be heavily documented somewhere on the web - maybe here maybe not.

hellaroms (author)2011-07-06

can you make them arm wrestle?

njkl44 (author)2011-06-23

how much did this cost?

tbaumg (author)njkl442011-06-24

Less than $100

tinker234 (author)2011-06-22

wow hey i would like to make a upscale model in my workshop could i

Bongmaster (author)2011-06-21

neat :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Toby is a Robotics Engineer who spends time designing microprocessor projects, programming, and making gadgets.
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