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USB Controlled Robotic Arm Construction Kit

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Quoting product code: A37JN


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About this product


  • Build and control your own robotic arm
  • Learn about robotics, modelling and programming
  • 149 piece arm, simple to assemble in around two hours

Product overview

  • Build and control your own robotic arm
  • Learn about robotics, modelling and programming using computer interfaces
  • 149 piece arm, simple to assemble in around two hours
  • USB interface to control your robotic arm with a PC
  • Lifts up to 100g
  • Suitable for children aged 14 and over
  • Exclusive to Maplin
  • Uses four D batteries
  • Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10

What the robotic arm can do
Exclusive to Maplin this fun educational kit contains all the pieces to assemble a working robotic arm, all you will need is a screwdriver, wire cutters and needle nosed pliers. Create your own robotic arm that can pick up and move items up to 100g in weight. This kit is a great introduction to model making and basic programming through computer interfaces for children aged 14+.

How to control the arm
The arm can be controlled from your computer using the simple and intuitive software that’s included. Just point your cursor at a part of the arm and scroll or use the on screen control pad to move it. You can either move the arm in real time or programme in a range of motions to be performed later. You can even control your robotic arm through your Raspberry Pi.

How much the robotic arm can move
Building your robotic arm should take around two hours following the instructions provided. The arm can move through three points of articulation and ends in a clamp to give you maximum flexibility with movement. The arm can move through 120 degrees in the wrist, 300 degrees at the elbow, 180 degrees at the base in the vertical and 270 degrees in the horizontal. The robotic arm also has a reach of approximately 320mm horizontally. The power is provided by four D batteries. (Order Code: L45AL)

Rated 5 out of 5 by from 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 (Ј30 on offer) it really is an awesome little device. Would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2014-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A steady 2 hour build using nothing more than a couple of jewellers' screwdrivers and a scalpel made a fairly basic but interesting robotic arm able to pick up and manipulate up to 130g weight without strain. As there are no limit or position sensors it is quite rudimentary but paves the way for all sorts of mods & addons. The software allows basic multi-axis programming or manual control, I'll probably look for something more capable in the near future but this will do for experimentation. The only negative is the lack of a 6th axis (wrist rotation). Well made and IMO worth the money
Date published: 2010-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 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
Date published: 2014-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good but needs some refining Bought this thinking that any Win7 apps will work in Windows 8, the app is OK but the drivers won't install. To get around this Google "disable driver signature enforcement windows 8", follow the procedures and then the drivers will install properly. The kit seems well manufactured and goes together easily, would be nicer if it didn't need 'D' cells for power. The Windows software is basic but works well in manual mode, the servos don't have stops so I expect the gears will wear after a while if you aren't careful. For the money this was good value and I would recommend it.
Date published: 2013-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Firstly, this does work in Windows 7, the CD supplied does have all the drivers. I've run it on Windows 7 64-bit. Additionally you can use this with Raspberry pi and any other Linux, you can find loads of information via google. Good fun too build, easy.
Date published: 2013-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I hesitated for some time before finally buying this kit, as I thought that it seemed too cheap. However, I was delighted with it. I started building it with my eight year old grandson and finished it on my own. The software loaded easily on my Vista laptop and I was ready to play. The only improvement that I would make is to have a mains supply, via a transformer, to power the arm, as the batteries cost around Ј5.00 a set. I'm currently working on that. An excellent purchase!
Date published: 2011-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, fun, enjoyable and just short of great I got this about 3 weeks ago and seemed to have paid a higher price than the other reviewers! The build was easy enough and my daughter and I managed to get it to work with the Raspberry Pi and scratch. Although it has 3 motors for "shoulder", "elbow" and "wrist", they are all motions on the same plane. The wrist does not allow for any twisting motion. It would be great if 1. It has an extra motor for the twisting motion 2. I know it's more complicated and costly, but using a servo or even a stepper motor would be much more useful in a robot arm. 3. A way to preload a motion sequence and have them executed without computer control.
Date published: 2016-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great kit which went together easily in under 2 hours, minor problem with installing the USB software was resolved by using a different USB port otherwise a superb product with very easy to follow assembly instructions. Poss age of 12+ is a bit low - more agree with the 14+ stated on the box. Tools required are cross head screwdriver, snipe nose pliers and diagonal cutters as stated though I'd add a small file or piece of sandpaper to remove the moulding tags that are left when you snip the pieces off the forms in the kit.
Date published: 2010-07-29
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Number of included parts 149
Number of models that can be made 1
What can be made? Robotic arm
Compatible operating system Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 (32-bit only) and Windows 10 (32-bit & 64-bit)
Computer system requirements CPU: Pentium 3 1.0GHz or above
Memory: 256MB or above
Hard drive space: 100MB or above
SVGA 800 x 600 pixels or above
Colour monitor with 16 bit colour or above
Age group, if specified 14+
Power supply requirements 4 x D batteries
Dimensions 228 mm x 161 mm x 381 mm
Max. Lifting Weight 100 g
Box Contents Robotic arm
Software CD
Box Contents

I need the driver for windows 7.

Asked by: windy
The link has been provided at the bottom of the product listing
Answered by: Les
Date published: 2018-03-17

Is it a only software, Or software and hardware both?

Asked by: MahWish
This is a construction kit, so has both Hardware and Software
Answered by: Dale
Date published: 2018-01-17

can i use this with ubuntu OS with python scripts

Asked by: pankush
The arm is supplied for software and drivers for use with Windows operating system. It may be possible to use it with other/ 3rd party systems but we would be unable to offer adcvice on how to do this. I'd advise using a web search engine to see if this may be possible ..
Answered by: Les
Date published: 2018-01-05

I am currently trying to find the correct software for the robotic arm but cannot find anything. I do not have a disc drive and I am on windows 8.1 I believe, could you please help me by giving me the link to the software download. Thank you.

Asked by: Alex2207
Links to the software can be found at the bottom of the product listing and many times in the questions section, or you can click below.
Answered by: Les
Date published: 2017-12-25

Does this work with Mac OS?

Asked by: Robert
No, unfortunately not - Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
Answered by: James
Date published: 2017-12-06

how do you programme the arm to move automatically ?  Can i programme the arm to draw ? 

Asked by: Flower
Software is provided to control the arm, you can set sequences of moves ... I suppose it would be possible to program it to move whilst holding a pen/pencil .. although "draw" would be a very loose term to describe the results.
Answered by: Les
Date published: 2017-12-03

We’ve tried the link you posted below for the Windows 10 driver but it still isn’t working. Do you need a new software also? Please actually explain rather than just posting the same link over and over. Also still no reply from customer service weeks ago.

Asked by: Rachel
The latest drivers and software tested and working with Windows 10 platform are available on the following link. If you need assistance with either the installation or operation of the robotic arm have you considered one of our remote assist packages.
Answered by: Les
Date published: 2017-11-28

Hi there, Is it possible to control the arm using a Makey Makey board? If so, how would I program the outputs?

Asked by: DickyW
Unfortunately this is not a supported function of the item.
Answered by: Dale
Date published: 2017-11-24
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