Robotic Arm


This fascinating project allows us to experiment with an AR2 robotic arm, a serious factory-standard load-bearing robot arm with the extreme precision granted by planetary-geared motors, for less than 2000 pounds.

As we already have commercial plans requiring such a unit, for the mass production of seed-corals, mushroom spawn (bringing us into competition with contemporary chinese methods), and solar-sintered coral platform materials and building materials, as well as other scientific lab-work and production work, such as the production of
QT engine parts on a conveyor belt, the creation of this robot will not only have direct usefulness in the near future, but will also provide an opportunity for Alex Daniel to develop and expand his robotics-programming skills, which in themselves have an even greater range of future possibilities, as he was explaining to me this week with the COTS-Bot, a robotic submarine which targets crown of thorns starfish, a runaway population which destroys coral reefs, for lethal injection with vinegar. Another plan we have is to use helicopter-drones to map wild palm oil to disrupt the palm oil industry.

While there are many cheaper 6-axis robot arms on the market, they do not have the same load-bearing or precision characteristics as the AR2, which uses  planetary gearboxes for knock-free movement. This type of robotic arm is much more similar to the harmonic-drive gearboxes used in factories than cheaper units.

Left to right: AR2 robot arm, planetary gearbox, planetary motors for a solar-sinter-printer (like giant AR2):

We will build the AR2 in four main stages:
1. First the electronic and computational system, Arduino-based, power supplies and
shielding etc.
2. The wiring system which interfaces the programmable computational electronics
with the motors.
3. Assembly of the robot arm parts and motors.
4. Assembly of the travel-track base and its motor (the 7 th axis).

Once the robot is up and running we will experiment with it lifting loads and fine-manipulating objects; because the AR2 project is open-source there are many experimental ideas already planned for it!

We will then experiment with activities related to lab-work and future mass-production scenarios such as:
1. Picking up, opening and closing petri-dishes, moving contents of petri-dishes.
2. Microfracturing-amplification of corals, management of polyps and other coral
seeding processes.
3. Solar Sintering.
4. Production of mushroom spawn blocks.
5. Management of hot autoclaved biomaterials.

While the new “Electropolyp” system will decimate materials costs, weight, and transport to build huge, kilometre-scale reefs, and can be further enhanced with AR2-style solar-sinter-printer produced platform blocks, the lightweight, low-cost mega-reefs require huge quantities of seed corals for transplant.

Using novel microfracturing methods is the only way to produce sufficient seed-corals for Electropolyp! An AR2 can be programmed to cut up coral fragments, even
down to a single polyp, which are then cultured ready for refragmentation to produce thousands more coin-sized seeding-corals. The grey block pictured will be produced
by onsite solar-sintering. As this picture reveals, if the seed “coins” are genetically identical from the same stock organism, they will actually fuse to create larger corals which can take centuries to form. Thus it took 11 months for top-right to grow and fuse from top-left, giving a final coral size which would normally take 15 years to
form. The seed-coins themselves also grow faster than normal coral, seemingly as part of a healing-response once a fragment is divided by the AR2, these coins grow
back to the size of an original coin which took 3 years to grow from spawn in only a couple of months. Thus, tantalisingly, centuries-old sized corals can be created on
the new Electropolyp megareefs within a year or so, primary ecosystem at the drop of a hat; now if only we could do that with forests!!

The AR2 can manipulate the coral coins for cutting using its normal appendages, then actually cut the coral, even down to individual encased polyps, utilising a
dremel (small circular saw) attachment:

These coral processes with benefit fishing industry (with which we will co-ordinate for funding via Rebecca Korda phD Fisheries (Newcastle)), and local communities,
giving them alternative livelihoods to, for example, slaughter of manta rays for Chinese medicine, they will benefit all ocean ecology, set to be most dead-zones
within 25 years according to some studies.

Incashroom spawn production will benefit many communities with malnutrition or food shortages, especially those in the Sacred Valley of the Inca initially, and the
Machiguenga of Alto Urubamba, an adjacent area.

Solar sinter-printers, a kind of giant AR2 with a Fresnel lens, will benefit housing, building and communities.

We will start the project when/if Lush is able to fund us, with James in charge of the materials and motor sourcing, as well as 3D printing. Following this he will
consolidate the parts in a large crate in the USA and the send it to Alex Daniel, where he will work on the unit in Urubamba, Peru.

The potential spin-offs from this project will last a lifetime of work, and this arm, with aluminium structural elements, may last several decades.

The AR2 itself is an open-source project; we did not invent it, and anybody can build

Incashroom will be one of the first if not THE first automated mass-production mushroom scenario which is not run by the Chinese, thus making non-chinese
mushroom production competitive and ready to reflect the resurgence of interest in edible and particularly medicinal mushrooms throughout the whole world.

Microfracturing for seed coral production has never been automated, but even without automation it has produced some tens of thousands of seed-corals;
automation will produce them by the millions, which is 100% necessary for the multi-kilometre Electropolyp reefs soon to be created.

Solar Sintering with large 6-axis arms bearing Fresnel lenses has been prototyped and developed.


1. TronicsPros 4 pin 4 colour 10m 20m RGB Extension Cable Wire $10.96.
2. Hilitchi 240 pieces 2.5mm pitch 3-pin JST SM male and female plug headers $10.63.
3. Hilitchi 274 pieces 2.5mm pitch 4-pin JST SM male/female plug headers $11.58
4. 34m PE polyethylene 4mm spiral cable $8.39
5. Uxcell 33 foot long 10mm Cable management Tube $7.35
6. Uxcell heat-shrinking Tube 3m $5.94
7. Vktech 150 pieces 2:1 Heat shrinking tube sleeve 8 sizes 2-13mm $5.99
8. Switchcraft Shielded jack mount, feedthrough panel: $9.99
9. Uxcell Polyurethane Air Hose 19m long, 2mm ID, 4mm OD $7.87
10. Permatex Black Silicone Sealant $6.94
11. ABS project box by Hammond $6.51
12. Waterproof Cable Jointing Adjustable Nut for 10-13mm cable $8.29
13. 10 pieces 4-pin metal male-female panel connectors 16mm $12.99
14. 100 foot 18AWG 4-conductor high-purity oxygen free copper speaker wire $34.55
15. 10 limit switches $7.56
16. Pack of 5 microswitches $8.29
17. 22AWG quick-disconnect wire $15
18. Oil-based paint markers, 5 colours $10.68
19. Cable Mounting systems 100 pack $8.39
20. Crimping tool for plug headers $23.00
21. Self-adjusting wire stripper $13.99

1. ABS plastic economy box with solid door, light gray $38.83
2. ABS plastic internal panel $20.10
3. BUD air vent $6.28
4. Switch Powersupply Driver 5V 2A 10W $6.99
5. Ieik Mega USB cable for Robot Arduino UNO $11.89
6. Hesai Mega Transparent Case Enclosure $5.99
7. 8 channel DC 5V relay module $8.98
8. 6 foot Ethernet cable $7.49
9. Switchcraft Feedthru Panel $9.70
10. Switchcraft Panel $9.99
11. Uxcell AC 600V 10A red emergency stop button 22mm $6.94
12. 30 pieces cable joints $10.41
13. Rail Mounted Terminal Block $21.01
14. 15 pieces slotted aluminium rail $11.35
15. Rail terminal block bridge, 10 pieces $22.11

16. Terminal Block Screen Shield Block for Arduino Mega $29.91
17. 100 feet oxygen free copper 4-conductor cable $34.55
18. 4-pin 16mm male-female silver aviation plugs, 10 pieces $12.99
19. URBEST Inlet Module 10A 250V $6.99
20. eBoot 130 pieces solderless breadboard jumper for Arduino Shield $6.99
21. 120 pieces multi-coloured jumped wire $7.99
22. 350W 24V 14.6A switching powersupply stepper motor CNC router kits $23.96
23. Digital Stepper Driver $25.49
24. Digital Stepper Driver for Nema Stepper Motors $13.86

1. Covers and Spacers – Original
J1 base support spacer part 1 42.47
J1 base support spacer part 2 25.33
J2 arm cover spacer 21.22
J2 side cover half 20
J5 side cover cap 20
J5 side cover spacer 20
J5 side 20
J6 limit switch tip 5
2. Epoxy on Supports
Auxiliary base support 10
Auxiliary J2 arm support 26.29
Auxiliary platform support 12.50
3. Main Components – Nominal Size
J1 & J3 Motor Mount 10
J1 Base Plate 97.14
J1 Spindle 50.24
J1 Turrent Housing 67.13
J1 Turret Platform 34.42
J2 Arm 80.79
J2 Drive Spindle 25.37
J2 Motor Support 32.33
J2 Tension Ring 15
J2 Turret Housing 83.49
J3 Bearing Cup 12.05
J3 Spindle Retainer 5
J3 Spindle 17.68
J4 Motor Mount – Limit Arm 12.74
J4 Timing Hub 10
J4 Turret Housing 32.27
J5 Bearing Post 5
J5 Belt Carrier Clamp 5
J5 Belt Carrier 10.39
J5 Housing 38.01
J5 Idler Tension Block 5
J5 Motor Mount 15.12
J6 Bearing Cap 10
J6 Gripper Mount 10
J6 housing single piece 16.14

J6 main bearing arm 27.73
4. Travel Track
Bearing spacer 12.50
Block spacer 10
Drive mount 20.89
Template 15

UPDATE 25.10.2018: Happily, there is now an aluminium kit available for the AR2 Main
Components which costs $499!
This is down on $728.04 for plastic 3D printed main structural components, so we have improved
on costs, smoothness of moving part surfaces, and extended the life of the unit indefinitely. This
creates a saving of $229.04 so the final total is now:
3D PRINTED AND ALUMINIUM PARTS TOTAL $991.69 – $229.04 = $762.65
1. High strength aluminium tube $10.53
2. Nema 17 Stepper Motor with planetary gearbox $60.18
3. Nema 23 Stepper Motor with planetary gearbox $90.27
4. Nema 17 Stepper Motor with planetary gearbox $60.18
5. Nema 11 Stepper Motor with planetary gearbox $37.49
6. Nema 17 External Stack $44.86
7. Nema 14 Stepper Motor with planetary gearbox $34.95
8. Nema 11 Bracker for Stepper Motor $1.96
1. Single row tapered rolling wheel bearing $12.77 x2 = $25.54
2. 30206 Taper Wheel Bearing $11.97 x2 = $23.94
3. Tapered Roller Bearing $8.30
4. Thrust Bearing $7.64
5. Thrust needle roller bearing $3.17 x3 = $9.51

6. Thick washer $1.15 x4 = $4.60
7. Thick washer $5 x2 = $10
8. Cylindrical roller bearing $9.71 x2 = $19.42
9. Caged roller bearing $10.59
10. 10 pieces stainless steel cylindrical rod shaft $7.50
11. 8 pieces 3mm linear bushing linear bearing $11.78
12. 12 pieces sealed deep groove radial bearing $8.91
13. Taper Roller Wheel Bearing $6.55
Belts and Chains:
1. Powergrip Timing Belt $7.51
2. 2 foot roller chain $7.45
3. Connecting link $1.40
4. Powergrip timing belt LARGE $12.48
5. Powergrip timing belt SMALL $6.79
6. Timing Hib Pulley $7.99
7. 15 tooth 8mm bore sprocket $3.49 x2 = $6.98
8. 10 tooth sprocket aluminium 2 pieces $3.46
9. Machinable Bore Sprocket $12.45 x 2 = $24.90
1. Steel bar $1.87
2. Zinc plated steel $3.81
3. Keyed rotary shaft $20.27
4. Aluminium Tube $10.53
5. Pack of 5 squareheaded point screw $5.52
Grippers and Switches:
1. Air Slide Pneumatic Gripper $49.90
2. Baomain Pneumatic Air Control Solenoid 24V $12.79
3. 5 limit switches $7.56
4. 5 micro switches $8.26
Travel Track Parts:
1. Nema 17 Bipolar Motor $11.14
2. Nema 17 Motor Bracket $2.44

3. Stainless steel mounting with ball bearings $17.99
4. CNC linear guideway rail kit $61.29
5. ABS project box $6.51
6. Hilitchi 30 piece nylon cable connectors $10.41
7. 4 pin 10 pieces silver aviation plugs $12.99
8. Aluminium Plate $13.37

GRAND TOTAL: $2,188.64 = 1,705 pounds.

Total Required: £1,705