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Robotic Arm Kit with USB PC Interface

Code: A37JN

4.3  out of 5 based on 54 reviews
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  • Exclusive to Maplin Electronics!
  • Construct a working robotic arm and control it from your PC via USB!
  • A fun and exiting way to explore robotics via a PC

Product details

Robotic Arm Kit with USB PC Interface

Exclusive to Maplin Electronics!
• Construct a working robotic arm and control it from your PC via USB!
• A fun and exiting way to explore robotics via a PC
• Use your keyboard and mouse to have a real time control over the robot
• Includes software for controlling the arm supplied on CD-Rom
• Programming option to save or load pre-programmed user files for a series of movements
• Maximum Lift 100 g
• Requires 4 x D size batteries

The Robotic Arm Kit is a great learning tool for electronics enthusiasts and is exclusive to Maplin Electronics.

First you open the box and get to work assembling the kit. To assemble the kit you'll need a screwdriver, a pair of wire cutters and some needle nose pliers. The instructions are clear to follow and assembling the arm should take 1-2 hours.

Once built, you can connect it to your PC (or Raspberry Pi) and program it to perform all sorts of robotic movements. The simplest method to controlling the arm is pretty straight forward - once you've got the software installed on your PC, you just point at the part of the arm (on screen) that you want to affect and click. You also have the option to program a series of movements.

The included software is compatible with 32bit operating Windows based systems

Minimum System Requirements:
PC Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
(32-bit versions only)
CPU: Pentium 3 1.0 GHz or above
Memory: 256 MB or above
Hard Drive Space: 100 MB or above
Display: SVGA 800 x 600 pixels or above
Colour monitor with 16 bit colour or above


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10 of 54 Reviews

  • nice for the price

    Nice toy with the price reduction, don't think I would have payed full price, it's an excellent building block for adding mods, it could do with some rotary encoders on the joints, also its stated as running off 4 D cells but the battery connector is only connected to two of the cells, so when the batteries run out people will throw away 2 good batteries thinking their dead, check it for yourself the pin connecting the + red wire to the control board, the pin goes nowhere, I'm running it on 2 cells only, connected - to black pin, + to orange pin, red does nothing

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  8 0

  • Absolutely Brilliant!

    Received this as a Christmas gift, can't tell you how awesome this thing is!!

    Spent a couple of hours building it up, bit fiddly at first but soon got into it. The instructions were quite easy to follow along with and everything worked as it should once finished.

    I went a step further and programmed up a small app in C# .NET utilising an old XBOX controller I had lying around, now I can control my Robot Arm with precision!!

    Obviously it's plastic and doesn't have any motor feedback but seriously for the money (£30 on offer) it really is an awesome little device.

    Would definitely recommend.

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  5 0

  • Excellent Robot Arm

    Used it to be controlled by Minecraft. Via Minecraft -> Bukkit -> Python -> Arduino -> Robot Arm. Really excellent programmability once the main controller is removed. H-Bridge Chips required.

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  5 3

  • Brilliant Buy

    I bought this for my son's 9th birthday and he managed to build this with a little help from hid Dad. It kept him amused for days and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. We have been having stacks of fun since he built it too, setting lots of challenges for each other and timing each other. Great buy for a reasonable price and very well designed.

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  8 1

  • excellent for the price

    a great little kit. no feedback so the robots' movements are controlled by operating each motor for a programmed amount of time. so the repeatability is poor. saying that, if you go back to a certain datum point (and fine tune manually) you can repeat tasks. if you want a small robot with feedback get a mitsubishi rv1, and pay £5000. for the price, unbeatable.

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  8 4

  • Tony

    Easy put together but very cheaply made. No feedback from motors (not step motors) not even micro switches, this means the gears crunch when moved to far thus won't last long before teeth are knocked of the cogs. As no feedback and not step motors, the programmability of it will be very basic and unable to complete tasks precisely. You get what you pay for so only myself to blame, although the USB interface will come in handy.

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  14 8

  • mark wrighting

    i got this for my sons birthday easy to build and kept him busy for a while , well worth the money spent

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  4 3

  • Excellent

    I got this product for Christmas it took me 2 hours to build that is quite short for me. Product comes with everything except a screwdriver and a pair of pliers (that I Recommend) Also if you are giving this to a child they might need help doing up the screws

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  13 2

  • Fantastic Robotic Arm

    I love it! I spent the morning assembling this with my son and it's incredibly educational and fun all rolled into one. You need to follow the instructions carefully as some parts can be a little tricky to do but it is well built and well designed. The fun starts once you have assembled it and start to use it as it can rotate the base, move the arm at the base, move the elbow, wrist and also the jaws which are surprisingly nimble. I'm intending to expand on this by getting it to work with a Raspberry PI and remotely control it from a P.C. Hopefully once we have worked out this we can power the PI from battery and add some form of movement to it which would really open minds for all sorts of educational (mischief) uses! For this price it is well worth the value and I thoroughly recommend it.

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  17 1

  • excellent

    I got this for Christmas took me about a morning to complete few errors easy to fix though. Software easy to use i specifically like the keyboard mode. all over its BRILL

    Was this review useful?  Yes No  16 2


Ask a Question

10 of 11 Questions

  • Jim said:

    Can this be connected to model pi b+. If so are the drivers on the cd or downloadable

    This can be ran on the Pi’s we found the guide below by Bob Rathbone really useful:

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  0 0

  • Mark said:

    Is there an option to control this remotely over the internet? i.e. Can you send commands to a PC that will then perform an action? Is there a mobile app connectivity interface?

    I’m afraid the answer to all of your questions is no unfortunately.

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  0 0

  • johnrygaard said:

    I will ask if i can controlled robotic arm with joystick via pc too?

    Yes the product can be controlled by anything so long as its programmed correctly.

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  1 1

  • Tim Collins said:

    Does this kit come with the manual controls as well as the USB interface?

    I am sorry but the item in question does not support use in your intended application.

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  0 2

  • PatM said:

    Is the software for this available online for download?

    The driver are too large, but can be sent on a disc; please request this by emailing

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  9 4

  • Art S said:

    How many degrees of freedom does this arm have ? Thanks Art

    Specifications as follows Wrist 120° , Elbow 300°, Base (vertical plane) 180°, Base (lateral plane) 270°

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  3 2

  • Maplin Technical said:

    What are the minimum requirements for this item?

    PC Operating System: Windows® XP/Vista™, (32-bit versions only) CPU: Pentium 3 1.0GHz or above Memory: 256MB or above Hard Drive Space: 100MB or above Display: SVGA 800x600 pixels or above, Colour monitor with 16 bit colour or above

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  2 7

  • Oliver Piotrowski said:

    This does work with 64 bit windows 7, however you will need to select the option to 'disable driver signing' in the F8 boot menu

    Many thanks for the feedback.

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  25 9

  • Sue said:

    Are the Circuit boards or other spares available for purchase seperately

    unfortunately we do not stock spare parts for this unit currently

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  1 4

  • Richard Hind said:

    Does the software provide standard DLL files to enable you to control the robot arm by writing your own software in Visual BASIC / C++ etc. ?

    This is not included

    Was this answer useful?  Yes No  3 7

Bulk Prices

Item code Item name Quantity Price
A37JN Robotic Arm Kit with USB PC Interface (1+) £49.99

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