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Six-axis manipulation robot based on Raspberry Pi 4B sells for $699

May 27, 2021 — by Eric Brown 8,982 views

Elephant Robotics’ $699, 850-gram “MyCobot Pi” is a six-axis manipulation bot that runs Debian and ROS on a RPi 4B. The bot has a 250 g payload, 280mm range, and a LEGO connector for attachments including a suction pump and gripper.

Elephant Robotics, which found success with its Arduino-on-ESP32 based, six-axis MyCobot M5 robot, has now released a model that runs Debian and Robot Operating System (ROS) on the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. The MyCobot Pi is on sale for $699, providing a manipulation arm with 6x servos to enable 6 Degrees-of-Freedom (DoF) with a 280mm range. The bot offers fast “response, small inertia, and smooth rotation,” and can carry payloads of up to 250 g, says the Shenzhen, China based company.

MyCobot Pi
(click images to enlarge)

Like the MyCobot M5, the $699 MyCobot Pi is billed as the world’s smallest and lightest collaborative robotic arm. It weighs only 850 grams for easy portability.

Like the similarly designed M5, the Pi model is intended for robotics and artificial intelligence research and education, as well as smart home and light industry and commercial robotics applications. As can be seen in the video farther below, you could also entertain you guests by programming the bot to do a mesmerizing dance of the six servos, as if your PVC plumbing pipes had sprung to life.


There is also a $2,999 MyCobot Pro version of the MyCobot M5 aimed at commercial industrial use. The Pro advances to a brushless DC industrial motor with a payload of up to 1 kg plus ±0.3mm repeated positioning accuracy. By comparison, the MyCobot Pi offers ±0.5mm repeatability.

MyCobot Pi with MyCobot M5
(click image to enlarge)

The Debian and ROS Kinetic stack includes an image recognition algorithm that can work with variety of Raspberry Pi cameras, as well as the Blocky visual programming application (they likely meant Blockly). There is also a GitHub page with a pymycobot API for Python, as well as a MyStudio robotics application. The MyCobot Pi stack is said to support multi-scene application development.

The major Raspberry Pi 4 ports are exposed, including USB Type-C, 4x USB host, 2x micro-HDMI, and 40-pin GPIO. It also appears there is access to the camera connector. An 8V/5A power supply is available and there is a 0 to 45℃ operating range.

The MyCobot Pi allows users to “independently match different accessories such as display, gripper, and suction pump,” says Elephant Robotics. The robot appears to support the accessories available for the MyCobot M5. Equipped with the $130 suction pump attachment, which is tethered to a pump box, the robot can carry 250 g. There is also a $100 adaptive gripper that can carry 150 g and supports 20-45mm clamping width.

MyCobot Pi dimensions and range (left) and optional adaptive gripper
(click images to enlarge)

It is unclear if the $400 Intelligent Warehouse Kit works with the MyCobot Pi, as it also includes an optimized Arduino stack. The kit includes the suction pump, a variety of sensors, and colored blocks.

Two types of optional stands are available, and like the business end of the arm, they use a standard LEGO attachment. This should enable a wide variety of third-party stands and attachments as seen in video shown for the M5 Arduino version. The page also shows an M5 StickT infrared thermal imager attachment, but like the optional display this does appear on the shopping page.

According to the TechBullion article that alerted us to the MyCobot Pi, the original MyCobot was jointly produced by Elephant and Espressif partner M5STACK, which makes stackable hardware/software development kits built around the ESP32. It is unclear if they also participated in the Raspberry Pi model.

MyCobot Pi in motion

Further information

The MyCobot Pi is available for $699 plus shipping, with delivery in one or two weeks. More information may be found on Elephant Robotics’ MyCobot Pi shopping page, as well as the GitHub page and GitHub Reader software guide. So far, there is no detailed user manual, as there is with the M5 model.

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