Welcome to the central armBOT development page: your one-stop solution to a highly scaffolded robotics learning journey. 

The page gives you an overview of :

  • motivation
  • high-level learning objectives
  • background 
  • how to get started
  • the next steps to further the development

The page is intended for the curious (educators, students, hobbyists, or anyone else)  who wish to develop/further their understanding of the Internet of Things and Computer Vision through a hands-on project. 

Keeping accessibility across the globe in mind,  care has been taken to use tools and resources which are open-source and frugal, wherever possible. 

Module Objectives

armBOT is a common 6 DOF robotic arm that can be built at home by 3D printing. This project is designed as a lead for students to learn about seven common aspects of robots.

Student Outcomes

The student should be able to react with armBOT with their knowledge learned  in the following seven dimensions:

  • ROS
  • System Integration
  • Vision
  • Armbot Operating
  • 3D Printing
  • Arduino
  • Teleoperation

Project Overview

This project is divided into seven small projects related to seven aspects of robots. We hope this project can be a platform for students to explore these seven aspects and practice their knowledge.


The armBOT project was originally developed by Jayson Zhou and Shiqi Sun, both of whom were MS students at Duke Engineering School. They used armBOT to complete the assignments including detecting the target objectives, distinguishing obstacles, automatically picking up the target, and planning the route to move the target object to the desired position. See more about their project here,

In 2020 Fall, the armBOT has been designed as the platform for students to explore and practice their skills and knowledge in ROS, System Integration, Vision, Armbot Operating, 3D Printing, Teleoperation and Arduino.

Development Journey

The project was started in Spring 2020 as an educational project to learn robotics as part of the Duke’s coursework but owing to the global developments due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the scope was expanded to create a virtual, collaborative learning experience.

Students continued the work during the Summer of 202 to solve the issues with design and armBOT operation.

The next batch of graduate students at Duke worked on refining and defining the subsystems to meet the scope objectives while working in three different time zones over Fall 2020.

Moving Hardware

Getting Organized @ Home

Makeshift Lab 🙂


CAD Render of armBOT v1.0

armBOT v1.0

armBOT v1.0 under development

Blue Devils

Object Identification using Computer Vision

storeBOT: ready to assemble 6 DoF arm

Arm Links Kinematics

Robotic Operating System

Using these Pages

We have developed seven robot-related topics to react with armBOT. You can explore and learn the basic knowledge about these seven topics and practice your knowledge with armBOT by clicking the seven pictures in the below sections.

Learning ROS: Learn about what ROS is and how to use ROS to control armBOT

System Integration: Learn how to use common basic sensors attached on armBOT

Vision: Learn basic knowledge about computer vision

Armbot Operation: Learn how to paly armBOT through Ardunio board

3D Printing: Learn basic knowledge about 3D Printing

Arduino: Learn how to use Arduino

Teleoperation: Learn how to achieve remote control

Explore our Projects

Learning ROS
System Integration
Armbot Operation
3D Printing

Future work

If you want to develop your own project based on these seven projects, you can either combine these seven small projects or focus on one of these projects. 

Here are some thoughts you can follow.

  • A web-based control of the robot arm
  • Combine computer vision and AI to improve the web-based control of the robot arm
  • Control a robotic arm using camera and your own hands.

Team Members


Dr. George Delagrammatikas


Master Students from MEMS:

Jiajun Cui         Ravi Prakash      Qiang Lu          Yuhua Zhu          Yuxin Lin         Zhebang Hu


This page is made by Jiajun Cui, Ravi Prakash, Qiang Lu, Yuhua Zhu, Yuxin Lin, Zhebang Hu, Dr George Delagrammatikas in Fall 2020. All are part of Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University.

If you have any advise, please contact professor George Delagrammatikas: gd87@duke.edu

A Photo Album of Our Journey