Dorna is a fast, powerful and precise robotic arm. Dorna is an industrial grade 5-axis robotic arm with an open source software and firmware, and it is capable of automating many real life tasks. Dorna provides a perfect solution for business owners, makers, researchers, artists and anyone who wants to get serious in robotics without spending a fortune on an industrial robotic arm.
The robotic arms with specs similar to Dorna, are usually out of the price range for most consumers. With Dorna we have tried to change the standard for affordable robotic arms. Full metallic body makes Dorna sturdy, powerful and jitter free in fast motions. Precise machining processes used in building Dorna, make it highly accurate and repeatable. With powerful microcontroller and firmware, Dorna can perform complex and fast multi-axis motions.
Being able to design your own tools or modify the existing tools and quickly attach them to Dorna, provides a great amount of flexibility for Dorna users. We have designed a simple adapter interface which quickly and securely attaches different tools to your Dorna robotic arm.
Dorna Lab is our software library for controlling Dorna. Dorna Lab runs on Windows, Mac or Linux OS and is completely open source. Dorna Lab is a GUI based software, which provides scripting and command line control options for working with Dorna.
Dorna Lab is developed with Python and can be used as a standalone application or integrated as a library with other applications. The graphical simulator also helps you to visualize and evaluate your scripts before running them on Dorna.
Given the performance of Dorna, its easy tool change mechanism, and open source software, the applications are only limited by your imagination. As a business owner, researcher, maker, artist, or a student, you can find many applications in your day to day life, that Dorna can be programmed to do them for you faster, more reliably and more efficiently. Here we have few examples:
Dorna can help you capture smooth and dynamic shots. Dorna can easily handle a DSLR camera even when it is fully extended and perform complex slow or fast multi-axis motions.
Our founder originally started Dorna mainly as a robot for help in kitchen. Although later Dorna evolved into a more capable robotic arm, you can still use it with the difficult and repetitive food making tasks in your kitchen.
Whether you are a researcher, science teacher, or an industrial user, you can have Dorna perform unsafe or labor intensive lab experiments, accurately and efficiently.
Dorna has a very high resolution (0.005") and can be easily implemented as a laser engraver or with other toolheads for drawing and painting.
Computer Vision and Machine Learning
With an open source library, you can easily integrate Dorna in your machine learning applications. You can also make Dorna more intelligent by attaching a camera to its base.
Pick and Place
Given the high payload capacity (2.5 lbs), and great repeatability of Dorna (0.001"), you can use it in repetitive industrial pick and place applications.
Dorna is made out of aerospace grade aluminum for its rigidity and lightweight. High quality steel bearing, shafts, and aluminum pulleys, make it able to perform smooth motion under large payload.
To get the most out of our stepper motors, we use powerful stepper drivers which enable stepper motors to maintain their torque at higher speeds. Furthermore, we use highly efficient, heavy duty timing pulley and timing belts, as the main power transmission mechanism in Dorna. Despite its light weight, Dorna can easily handle 2.5 lbs of weight, even at its full extension, which is significant, compared to other robotic arms in similar price range.
Dorna can achieve up to 0.005" resolution and 0.001" in repeatability, making it a great fit for demanding industrial or scientific applications.
Multiple factors contribute to the high resolution and repeatability of Dorna:
- Using precision bearings, shafts and pulleys, and precision CNC machines for building Dorna parts.
- Using high quality timing belts which are tensioned properly for operation with a minimal amount of backlash.
- Using high resolution stepper drivers with up to 16 microsteps.
Dorna achieves high speed of up to 150 deg / sec for the arms and 300 deg / sec for the base and the wrist, while maintaining a smooth motion profile, even when all 5 axes are moving together.
Beside the mechanical properties, the important factor in achieving smooth and fast coordinated motions in Dorna is the use of highly optimized 6-axis g2core firmware for running Dorna, on the fast Arduino Due based controller board.
Dorna uses Arduino Due based controller. Running at 84 MHz, Arduino Due is the fastest Arduino microcontroller with 32-bit ARM based cpu and 54 digital I/O and 12 analog input pins.
We use g2Core, open source 6-axis CNC controller, as the firmware for controlling Dorna. G2Core can generate extremely stable and jitter free step pulses at up to 200 KHz for running stepper motors. In addition, g2core performs jerk controlled, 3rd degree motion planning which results in smooth start-stop motion profiles of the robot arm even under heavy loads.
We are a team of two brothers with PhD degrees in electrical engineering and extensive industrial background. Our journey with Dorna began more than 5 years ago when the older brother, Sadegh, always a robot enthusiast, came up with the idea of building a fully automated robotic chef, where you make the raw material available to the robot and the robot will process and cook it based on the provided recipe. After making couple of initial prototypes, he decided to use similar ideas and build a more general robotic arm, which not only can cook food, but can also be programmed for helping with other real life tasks. The problem with the existing robots in the market was that, they were either very expensive, or if affordable, they were not capable enough to replace humans in complex tasks.
The current version of Dorna, is the result of many rounds of iterations and prototyping and we now think that it is the right time to offer Dorna to the world and see how others are going to apply it in their applications.
Risks and challenges
While mass producing a complex hardware product such as Dorna requires a great amount of planning and careful execution, we think our team is well prepared for successfully launching this project and delivering the rewards to our supporters. After numerous design and prototypes, our current version of Dorna, is specifically optimized for efficient manufacturing. We have optimized our custom machined parts by trying to avoid complicated parts that require special tools or difficult setups as much as possible, in order to minimize the risk of manufacturing errors and hence production delays. We have already been in contact with multiple machine shops in the US and China, and we will finalize our partnership with them soon after our Kickstarter campaign ends.
For the controller board, we have a working prototype based on Arduino Due, that will be revised and finalized for mass production upon the success of our Kickstarter campaign.
Dorna Lab our software platform for working with Dorna, is already in a working condition and many of our features including the graphical simulator have been implemented and tested in the software. We will use the time before the delivery of our first batch of rewards, to add the remaining features, test and debug the code and make it ready for public release as an open source software.
Finally, as with any project that is in the prototyping stage, we anticipate some changes that need to be applied before finalizing the robot, in order to optimize our designs / components for mass manufacturing or improving the performance of the robot compared to its current state.
- (45 days)