In this video, we will see why you should not buy a cheap robot arm to create your computer vision prototype effortlessly and intelligently. Also, I will give you some tips on how you can integrate the robot arm with your computer vision project.

robot arm vacuum

Which robot arm to use?

There are many models of arm robots and they are used for many functions, for example, associated with a conveyor belt they can move objects through the output of a fast computer vision program. Clearly, the use that must be made of it must be taken into account, in this article we take as a reference the educational field or the creation of a simple demonstrative prototype.

But, obviously, not all robotic arms are the same, and choosing the right one simply helps you achieve your result quickly with the least possible effort and with the greatest effectiveness.

Robot arm comparison

To better explain the concept, let’s take two robotic arms as an example (for the same range of use): one very cheap and one more expensive. Apart from the obvious visual differences and fluidity of movements, the real difference is the software.

robot arm compariso

Specifically, we examine the movement of the arm in space through the x, y, z coordinates. The movement of the arm with 6 axes might seem simple and obvious but their coordination to reach the correct position requires an elaborate mathematical process called Inverse Kinematics. If you have time and competence you can program this part but sometimes the realization of a prototype requires a very short time and every minute saved becomes fundamental.

If you use a very cheap arm you have only the structure and some servo motors supplied but not the libraries for managing the movements and that’s a big problem.

Robotic arm test

Here is a small example in the photo, in the educational field, of what can be achieved. This basic reasoning can also be transferred to an industrial environment, clearly with the necessary software upgrades and robotic arms.

robot arm conveyor belt

To have the right use of this tool it is almost essential to have the right tools available, for example, depth cameras. This allows having information not only on the x, y axes but also on the depth (z). As I showed in my Identify and Measure precisely Objects distance video, the potential of intel real sense is enormous.

intel real sense

A valid alternative can also be the OAK-D Lite

depth camera oak - lite


When you have to build a prototype you have to optimize time, especially when you don’t have stringent technical specifications to respect. Using ready-to-use tools that match our needs is always the best choice and this is why you should not buy cheap robot arms.