Imagine this scenario. You are in your kitchen, trying to get something off an upper shelf. However, you’re just not quite tall enough to reach it. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have an extension on your arm. Or maybe a whole robot arm to reach that item for you?
Consumer robotics isn’t quite there yet, but now with the Owi Robotic Arm Edge kit, you can be one step closer to that dream. But is it worth the price? We wrote this OWI Robotic Arm Edge review to discover exactly what this new robotic arm is capable of.
Owi has been creating educational robotics kits since 1980. Their affordable kits are a good way to introduce children to the world of robotics by allowing them to build their own robotic toys. These kits range in difficulty from those capable of being completed by a grade-schooler all the way up to ones that involve soldering and mechanical work.
What is the Owi Robotic Arm Edge?
The Owi Robotic Arm Edge is an intro-level buildable robot kit that may be your child’s first experience with anything robotic. The arm has an impressive range of motion and can actually lift objects of up to a hundred grams. An LED light allows for play at night and there is audible warnings on all the gears. This will save you from injury and stripping out the gears accidentally as you play.
What’s in the Box?
- Owi parts templates for constructing the outer casings of your robot arm.
- A wired controller
- Instruction manual detailing exactly how to build this kit.
The outer box for this kit features a picture of the robotic arm, as well as the specs for it, including the ranges of motion. The side of the box also lists the box contents. This is a nice checklist that allows you to properly do inventory to make sure that all your necessary components are there.
Over all, the packaging for this robotic arm is very good. All the components are safely wrapped in clear plastic bags so you can see quite well what is inside, and the circuit boards are wrapped in bubble wrap for extra safety as they are fragile and could be damaged in transit. This kit comes prewired, so there is not any soldering necessary.
You will only need scissors to open the package for this kit and to get all the plastic packages open. However, to actually build the arm you will need a set of small screwdrivers, needle-nosed pliers and wire cutters to trim the plastic components out of their templates.
The Owi Robotic Arm Edge is gray and yellow. It stands at fifteen inches tall, and weighs about 658 grams according to the front of the box. It stands on a base and is operated by a very simple wired controller that works to send power from the batteries to the motor by completing a circuit.
Over all, this is a very easy build, taking only a couple hours maximum to complete. If you have completed robotics kits before, it will probably take you less time. The arm is made of really high-quality plastic for the price. It operates on a five S system. It has a five-switch wired controller, five joints and five motors that control the motion.
The arm features a radial wrist motion of 120 degrees, an elbow motion of 300 degrees, base rotation of 270 degrees, base motion of 180 degrees, a vertical reach of 15 inches and a horizontal reach of 12.6 inches. The arm also features an ability to lift items of up to 100 grams, meaning you could definitely pick up a pencil with it.
Testing the Arm
This robotic arm is a lot of fun. You can use it to pick up larger building blocks and pencils and even things up to the size of a small screw driver. It has an amazing range of motion, and is a blast to play with. It also increases your hand-eye coordination as you have to guide it with the controller to guide the gripper to the item you want to pick up and tell it when to close. If you like claw machines, this will be a lot of fun for you.
There was a downside, however. This robotic arm takes four D-sized batteries. These batteries are not included and there is no off switch which means there may always be a little power trickle. Also, if you close the battery cover, they are a bit challenging to change later. However, we feel that was a small price to pay for the fun we had just messing about with this toy.
Excellent Range of Motion
This robotic arm has an amazing range of motion. This means that you should have no trouble lifting items or manipulating the arm to do as you want it to. There are no sensors on the arm, so you will need to be careful to not push it beyond its range of motion as parts will break if you push too hard.
Safety Audible Gear Warning
All the gears in your Owi Robotic Arm Edge include audible gear warnings. This is a safety measure that means the gear will click if you are pushing it too far or in the wrong direction. This feature prevents gear stripping or injury by warning you that a gear is being pushed too far or is moving improperly.
This cool robotic arm also features a LED light on the gripper. Playing at night has never been easier. The LED light allows you to see exactly what you are picking up, and it looks cool, too.
This is the end of our Owi Robotic Arm Edge review. Overall, this is a fun project for anyone, adult or child. It is an excellent first DIY robotics project, and will keep you and your child entertained for hours.
The only downside to this kit was the fact that it takes batteries. There is no way to charge it via a USB connection straight out of the box. Also, this arm is not mobile, and the controller is wired. However, if you do not mind these downsides, this would be an excellent weekend project.