Introduction: Python Programmable DIY Robot Arm

About: I love robotics and wish to develop a line of robots that will replace all human interaction in a beauty salon.

Why Do This Project:

(a) Learn to control robotic arm by actually writing Python code. This will give you the most granular control while adding computer programming to your belt and learning the inner workings of sophisticated register-based motors.

(b) Learn the Raspberry Pi 3B and the GPIO pins.

(c) Work with the "Ferrari" of robot motors/actuators (Dynamixel AX-12A).

(d) Save money by not having to purchase a separate control module (e.g., no CM-530).

(e) Learn to wire a breadboard with an inexpensive ($1.50) DIP-20 IC to control communication.

(f) Learn UART, half-duplex to full-duplex, and serial communication.

Complete Bill of Materials (BoM):


In this video series, I will show you exactly what you need in order to build this robotic arm. I'll go through all the steps one-by-one so you can replicate this project at home if you like. Be sure to peruse the ReadMe file in my GitHub repository ( This is a simple robotic arm using Dynamixel AX-12A servos, Raspberry Pi 3B microcontroller, 74LS241 octal tri-state buffer, Python programming, some Linux, and UART serial communication. I did all the heavy lifting for this project and it should be pretty much plug-and-play for you.

Thank you for your time!


Step 1:

Table of Contents:

(a) Robotic arm in different angles.

(b) The file on GitHub.

Step 2:

Table of Contents:

(a) How to wire up breadboard.

(b) The instruction packet explained.

Step 3:

Table of Contents:

(a) Closeup photos of the robotic arm and how it's put together.

(b) Discussing websites that are important for this project.

Step 4:

Table of Contents:

(a) In depth review of Python code in the GitHub repository.

(b) The instruction packet (goal position and angular velocity explained).

Step 5:

Table of Contents:

(a) Moving the robot in real-team and seeing how changes affect arm.

(b) How the Mastech HY1803D bench-top power supply works.

(c) The instruction packet (advanced analysis).

(d) How to use to transfer files.