I am currently designing a robotic arm with 6 degrees of freedom (points of rotation). The arm will have a gripper that opens and closes, a wrist that will move up and down as well as rotate, an elbow that will rotate up and down, and a shoulder that rotates up and down as well as rotates around the base. I began by designing the arm in Solidworks as a conceptual model based on approximate dimensions of the servo motor I plan on using, then using the data Solidworks provides about the mass of my design to determine a servo motor with the correct torque, and finalizing my design with the accurate dimensions of the servo. I will begin with the electronics by simply using an Arduino based micro-controller, with Arduino software, controlling the individual servo motors with potentiometers. I am currently waiting for the parts in the gripper to be printed from a 3D printer, and then I will test the design with the servos I have already purchased. I plan on using an open-source speech recognition software that can be run from the Arduino micro-controller once I finish the hardware involved in the robotic arm. Below you can see some pictures of my design, and eventually a video of my servo motor being controlled by a potentiometer, which I will record and upload soon.
I purchased my servo based on the information given by Solidworks, redesigned my model, and added nuts and bolts to finalize the design. If you would like to see a video of my servo motor being controlled by a potentiometer, please check out my videos page.
And here are a few photos of the gripper after it was 3d printed.
Please check the videos tab to see a video of the fully assembled gripper being controlled by a potentiometer.
Or just check out this youtube link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cje4T2xRGfg