xArm: The robot arm that costs less than two iPhones
UFactory released the xArm series. The entry-level programmable robot arm sells at $2,299 on Kickstarter inviting smaller manufacturers to join the wave of automation.
A robotic arm used in manufacturing typically costs more than $10,000. The xArm would reduce the entry tickets for robotic automation to the price about the same as two iPhones.
xArm said their product offers versatility and the precision of a factory grade robot arm. The 7-axis design enables the arm to perform tasks as accurate as 0.1mm. The company showed the xArm could pick up soda cans and pour wine from a bottle into a wine glass.
It uses internal sensors, cameras, and an AI system to adjust for the variables.
You can set up the programmable desktop-sized arm and have it perform basic tasks in 10 minutes.
The arm features a modular design. It allows users to customize and add accessories.
xArm can perform precision tasks like adjusting machine settings and holding a camera.
However, if you need to do some heavy lifting, the xArm does have a lower weight limit. The xArm 7 could only lift a payload of 7.7 pounds with a reach of 27.2 inches.
The overall quality of the xArm signifies a possible trend of automation for smaller manufacturers and service industries.
According to a study done by McKinsey & Company by 2030, 800 million workers could be replaced with available technology. Automation can move 30 percent of the global workforce away from manufacturing.
When some celebrate the pending new NAFTA deal that requires a higher minimum floor wage at around $15, it might still no be enough to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
The new wage rule could cost an employer for a minimum of $30,000 to hire an employee per year.