FARKUS is an open source robotic construction kit for factory automation.
At Modular Robotics, we make robot construction kits for kids in our factory in Boulder, CO. Lots of people think this is batshit-crazy; toys are made in China. In order to stay cost-competitive, we do a lot of robotization and automation, but not just by buying a bunch of robot arms. Instead of buying hundred thousand dollar industrial robots and PLCs, we've been making our own industrial robots with 3D printed and laser cut parts and Arduinos.
FARKUS is more than an assembly robot, it's an ecosystem of simple robots that work together. In the same way that our commercial products are made out of lots of tiny robots, the power of FARKUS lies in the modularity and interconnection between various modules that can be reconfigured quickly to support different assembly processes and production lines.
At a basic level, a factory performs a bunch of operations to a bunch of products. The Modular Robotics factory, for instance, uses operations like soldering, ultrasonic welding, programming, testing, and printing to make products like Cubelets and MOSS. FARKUS consists of several parts: movers, to move products through the factory; a collection of modules that perform operations to the products; a control system to manage the ecosystem; and nests to cradle the products as they make their way through a production line.
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All cad, electronics, and code files available on a Github repository.