Three arms are better than two.
Dobot’s main feature is its incredibly precise (the error is as small as 0.2mm) nozzle. The user can change Dobot’s nozzle to fit whatever activity she wants it to do: picking up objects, writing, and drilling among them. The user can also control Dobot in seven different ways: There are the conventional control methods (via a smartphone app or PC), but Dobot creators claim it is also remarkably controllable by human voice, hand gestures — and one’s mind. The user can visualize what she wants Dobot to do and it’ll do it, or so is creators claim.
Dobot’s applications stretch far beyond the typical robotic arms because of its small size. It can be used in the classroom — engineering or otherwise — for demonstration. Coders can share their homemade commands for Dobot, too, on a network designed for collaboration. Most importantly, through the EEG mind-control, Dobot could be used for people with physical handicaps, who could use a personal assistant to complete tasks such as preparing food or writing letters.
At an initial Kickstarter price of $399, it’s not cheap, but much less expensive than getting a huge industrial arm in your studio apartment. Tech in Asia reports that the company plans to ship the first run of Dobots before the end of the year.
As of this writing, the just-launched fundraising campaign has generated $179,987 from 377 donors.
There’s one slightly creepy demonstration we’d be remiss for not including here. On the Kickstarter page for Dobot, there’s a video showing off the precision with the arm moves.
It’s straight out of a seedy barroom: