Today’s robots are intended for direct human-to-robot interaction. These collaborative robots specialize in sharing tasks and spaces with humans.
The UFACTORY xArm series is one of the most affordable collaborative robot (or cobot) arms in the market. It is designed for light manufacturing, commercial uses and lab applications.
The xArm is automated and easily programmable. It takes the best specs and functions from industrial robots - manufacturing robots, assembly line robots and factory robots. The xArm has options for a 5, 6, and 7 axis arm making it the most practical and efficient industrial robot arm.
In order to cater to the specific customer requirements, we designed three different types of xArms (xArm5, xArm6, xArm7). In addition to the variety of accessories that customers have developed for themselves, we provide a variety of Ufactory accessories more specifically the 2-finger gripper and the vacuum gripper among others).
The purpose of this article is to describe the differences between xArm5, xArm6, and xArm7.
1) Main difference in brief
xArm 5 ($4,999) - This robot arm has 5 axes, with 3kg payload and 1m/s speed. The 5 axis robot arm is designed for simple repetitive tasks similar to SCARA robots at an affordable low budget. Compared with SCARA robots, the xArm5 robot provides longer reach, easier programming but slightly longer cycle time.
xArm 6 ($7,999) - This robot arm has 6 axes, with 5kg payload and 1m/s speed. The 6 axis robot arm is designed for manufacturing and assembly line automation, including more complex actions, for example, load and unload, pick and place...
At this price point, this collaborative industrial-grade cobot is perhaps the most cost-effective, flexible, and easy-to-use industrial robotic arm on the market today.
xArm 7 ($9,999) - This robot arm has 7 axes, with 3.5kg payload and 1m/s speed. The 7 axis robot arm provides uncanny human-like flexibility and caters to the additional requirements of research and lab environments. Also, the open source SDKs and official robot gripper make development very easy.
3) Motion Characteristics
Compared with xArm6 and xArm7, the motion characteristics of xArm5 are quite special.
Motion Characteristics of the xArm5
● Cartesian control
The movement of xArm5 is particular in this regard: due to the structural limitation, the actual flexible degrees of freedom of linear and circular motions in Cartesian space is 4, which is [x, y, z, yaw], similar to a SCARA manipulator with four degrees of freedom. Before initiating Cartesian control movement, it is necessary to ensure that the end flange surface of xArm5 and the base are completely parallel. If mounted on a horizontal plane, the roll and pitch should be [± 180 degrees, 0 degrees], otherwise the trajectory is likely to have no solution.
● Joint control
When operated with the control of the Joints (Joint Control mode) the xArm5 does have 5 degrees of freedom - there are 5 actuators that control each joint. As such, under Joint Control mode, xArm5 has greater flexibility than Cartesian mode which requires a complete parallel between end flange and base.
To switch back to Cartesian Control mode, use the Joint Control commands to return the flange and the base to be parallel to each other. A quick way to set a cartesian controllable attitude is: to set the angle of J4 equal to (J2 angle + J3 angle)
Motion Characteristics of the xArm6 and xArm7
Both robotic arms have a full 6 degrees of freedom in Cartesian space. For xArm7, there is one additional joint of freedom, meaning more possible solutions (Null-space solution) for a specified Cartesian target. This can be attractive in robot redundancy research,collision-avoiding, trajectory planning implementation, etc. For general applications, xArm6 may well suffice, and xArm7 is recommended if more flexibility is required.
Please refer to the video about the difference in the motion characteristics of the three robotic arms: xArm 5, xArm 6 and xArm 7.