If you’re looking purchase a MeArm head to Kitronik or one of our distributors.
The MeArm project started in March 2014, taking inspiration from the uArm Kickstarter. The uArm team had not yet published their design files so the MeArm was built from scratch, with the aim to build a truly open source robot arm design that you could build from a small number of components. The very first, and very basic, design was shared on thingiverse. It’s main inspiration was the PlotClock by Joo. Since then the MeArm and the PlotClock have been copied and improved thousands of times.
The MeArm was quickly improved and subsequent “official” releases were shared on thingiverse. The most popular (*most copied without licence or attribution) are the v0.4 and v1.0. If you’ve purchased a MeArm from a third party it’s likely it’s one of these two models. The original files can be found:
- V0.2 April 2014 A never working concept, which amazingly has been seen and sold in the wild.
- V0.3 April 2014 First real working version. A few hundred of these were made, feedback listened to and rolled into the next version.
- V0.4 June 2014 This is the first “viral” version. The instructions on instructables won a prize and they were a hit at the UK’s second EMF camp. Can still be found on Aliexpress and eBay. Inspired the MePed Quadruped, ArmUno, and EEZYBotArm.
- V1.0 September 2015 After a successful* Kickstarter (*but also unsuccessful (blog post to come)). This much improved version was released. Keeping to the original design brief but upgrading a number of tricky parts this version is also much copied.
- V2.0 March 2017 After another successful* Kickstarter (*also unsuccessful (blog post to come)). This version moved away from the original design brief introducing elastic bands and more slot together parts. To my knowledge this design has never been copied.
- V3.0 December 2018 This version comes back to the original design, using some of the excellent innovations from the V2.0 and simplifies the original concept. Manufactured exclusively by Kitronik in the UK.
The MeArm design process is one thing, but the story of the company behind it is quite another. The purpose of this blog is to share some of that.
The main person behind the MeArm (the Me) is Benjamin Gray and this journey has been a roller coaster. I’ve decided to share the stories behind this product to show that progress isn’t a straight line, and that doing what you love isn’t easy. If I can continue to contribute to the story behind the product I hope that the blog can both support the product and also others who are looking to find their way in the world of Open Source.
So this blog is about the product, the company, and the people who helped make a little robot go viral. If you’d like to learn more, please like, reblog, and follow.