Raspberry Pi Cardboard Robot Arm Cuts Costs

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Fricktorio)

Let’s face it—Raspberry Pi kits can get expensive. But if you’ve got a few spare parts lying around, you might be able to build something functional from scratch. No extruded aluminum lying around? No problem! Maker Fricktorio has managed to create a Raspberry Pi-powered robotic arm from scratch using cardboard.

The best Raspberry Pi projects are the ones that you can make at home and this project relies on a few easy-to-find materials. The cardboard is used to construct most of the frame which is held together with a little bit of hot glue. It also features a mechanism at the end of the arm to pinch and grab things made from unfolded paper clips.

The Raspberry Pi used in this project appears to be a 3B+ model. The main controller behind the operation, however, is an ESP32 module which helps the user control the servos in the arm by converting the input signal.

The ESP32 hosts a web server that users can access to drive the arm. It has a few sliders that can control individual servos within a predetermined range. Whenever a user interacts with the web interface, the input is sent to the robotic arm for a glamorous display of corrugated ingenuity.

Want to get a closer look? Check out the original thread via Reddit to see this clever solution in action.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.