xArm: the affordable robot arm that comes for more than big factory manufacturing jobs

UFactory just released its latest product the xArm series on Kickstarter. It’s a combination of functionality, versatility, and affordability that could signify a shift in the robotic application.

One of the most appealing features of the xArm model is how affordable it is. Major manufacturers use robot arm that cost more than $10,000, which is less affordable for smaller companies to buy and maintain.

A xArm costs about the same as two iPhones, at $2,299 on Kickstarter, and it offers versatility and the precision of a factory grade robot arm.

The xArm has a 7-axis design and can perform task up to 0.1mm.  That means, along with its internal sensors, cameras and smart AI system to adjust the variables, the xArm can perform tasks as precise as picking up a soda can or pouring wine into a wine glass.

The programmable desktop-sized arm could be set up and start performing basic tasks in 10 minutes. The modular design allows users to adjust and add accessories to expand the possibilities, including adjust machine settings, moving objects, or even 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 27.20 inches.

The overall quality of the xArm signifies the advancement of robotic product towards smaller manufacturers or even the service industries. By 2030, 800 million workers could be replaced, and it’s not by outsourcing or illegal immigrants. With available technology, automation can move 30 percent of the global workforce away from manufacturing, according to a study done by McKinsey & Company.

When some celebrate the pending new NAFTA deal that requires a higher minimum floor wage at around $15, predicting forcing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. The new wage rule would cost an employer for a minimum of $30,000 to hire one employee. It would most likely to push companies to accelerate the automation process, which will likely to continue to go lower as the technology advances.

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