Simple Meccano Robotic Arm

Left side of the arm. The red base is real meccano

Left side of the arm. The red base is real meccano

Ok, so this is another old project, that has been left half completed, but i thought it was in a state that warrented posting on my new blog

A little while ago, i was in The Reject Shop, and i came across a bunch of meccano like kits, for $2 each i think they were. Me being me, I didn’t really see them as kits to make toy trucks or tanks or anything, i saw them as a wonderful collection of screws and plates and shafts, so i purchased a stack of them, and took them home, where i proceeded to spend the evening unboxing the kits, and sorting the pieces into little piles of similar items.

From the word go, i had an idea in mind what i wanted to make with at least some of the pieces. I’ve always wanted a robotic arm. I had a couple of servos in one fo my boxes of stuff, and they were going to be perfect as the movement motors

As no doubt you can see from the pictures below, the arm isn’t so useful for about anything, having only 2 degrees of movement, and no gripper of any sort yet, but it is a work in progress, suited for maybe some kind of wheeled platform, or at least a rotating platform, and some kind of nice grippers

This is a shot of the right side of the arm

This is a shot of the right side of the arm

I did have it hooked up to a Picaxe 08 at one point, but i re-borrowed the picaxe for another task. i really need to get a bunch of the things i reckon. The plan was to have the 2 servos hooked up to the picaxe, and a set of buttons to allow me to change the position of the arm, and/or run pre-programmed moves.

A close up shot of the bottom servo, just for the heck of it

A close up shot of the bottom servo, just for the heck of it

To make the hinging elbows, i just used an extra nut as a lock nut, to hold the joins firm, but free. That makes them easy to make, and easy to pull apart if i ever want to. The zip tie you can see is to hold the main bits onto the red meccano base, as the cheap stuff isn’t hole compatable with meccano, and i only managed to get one screw holding them together

And thats it for now. I could, and probably should give more details. In the future, I’ll likely revise things and give you an update, until then,

have fun,


4 thoughts on “Simple Meccano Robotic Arm

  1. Sweet – just got myself a box of Meccano, some servos and a Freeduino microcontroller to have some robotic Meccano-arm fun too! The inverse kinematics math involved looks a bit scary though so I reckon my arm will also be pretty useless aside from the “I made this” factor!!

  2. This one is pretty simple. I’m still planning on putting a grabber on the end of it, and either putting it on a wheeled robotised platform, or on a rotating base (right now i’m thinking wheels), but i can be lazy.

    There was no maths done on my behalf, i just screwed it together, and it seemed to work ok. It doesn’t bother me so much that it isn’t completely manouverable or anything, like you said, this was more for the fun of the “I made it)

    I’m hoping to give an Arduino a go at some point, they look like fun

    I hope this can give you, and others, ideas on how to make something similar.

  3. Pity you haven’t included any plans/instructions or parts needed. Any chance you you could post these infos, they’ll make a Meccano n00b very happy! 😀

    • Sorry Martin, I don’t really have any plans, as I just made it up as I went.

      Just play around, look at the pictures, and try to copy whats there.
      Have fun, and try stuff out. thats the fun with meccano.

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