Low-Cost Robotic Arm Kit (MECH 453/853)

If you're interested in using the low cost robotic arm kit, you may find this GitHub repository useful. It contains skeleton code that can be used as a starting point for your own projects, saving you time and effort in the development process. We published a conference paper on designing learning experiences using the robotic arm kit.

The robotic arm kit is primary robotics platform used in MECH 453/853: Robotics: Kinematics and Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The course provides a comprehensive introduction to the principles of robot mechanisms, dynamics, and control. Topics covered include serial chain kinematics, motion planning, manipulator mechanism design, multi-rigid-body dynamics, control system design, actuators, sensors, and embedded programming. Through bi-weekly assignments, students gain hands-on experience with modeling and simulation using MATLAB, as well as with real-world implementation on a robotic arm kit equipped with servo drives.

Additionally, the course includes a group-based project component in which students propose and execute a novel application, sensing approach, or mechanism using the robotic arm kit. The following are examples of potential project ideas from previous course offerings:


DrumBot: The Percussive Precision of a Robotic Drummer

Chef (roBo)y-ardee- A robotic chopping system

ElectroHarmony: The Robo-Stylophone Virtuoso

Robotic Desk Assistant

MathBot: The Drawing Robot Solving Equations in Ink

CrushMaster 3000: The Ultimate Can-Crushing Robot

RoboFetch: Canine Companionship in the Age of Automation

SoccerBot Showdown: Precision, Power, and Goals Galore on the RoboPitch


Robotic Grill Master

Tic-Tac-Toe playing robot


Robotic light painter

Color sorting robot

RoboExtinguishinator 5000- A Firefighting robot

Back stocking robot

Soft robotic gripper

Pancake Flipping Robot

Color and weight-based cube sorting robot

Barista Bot

Robotic desk companion

Dart throwing companion

Robotic weight sorter


Payload dispatch robot

Light sensing robot

Vision guided robotic arm for grabbing objects

Manipulation of objects using custom Festo fin gripper

Image-based path generation for 3 DOF manipulator

A useless robotic arm

Robot with sensors for object avoidance

Robotic bartender

We are grateful for the support from the NASA Nebraska Space Grant (#80NSSC20M0112) and Nebraska Tobacco Settlement Biomedical Research Development Fund.

  • © 2018 Smart Materials and Robotics Laboratory