Dynamic 6-Axis Robot from scratch

I developed a 6 axis robot with half a meter reach and 3kg payload. It is servo driven and features absolut encoders on all axis.

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I started to develop a small six-axis robot in the beginning of my masters. Over the course of the semesters, I continued to develop this robot, manufactured it on my self-built machines and finally completed it's hardware.

The robot is low-cost, lightweight and dynamic. All structural components are made of aluminum. These are supplemented by additively manufactured covers, which serve as cable guides and impact protection. The robot is belt-driven and equipped with six BLDC motors. The motors are driven with motor controllers, which are coordinated via a CANopen bus by a central micro-controller.
For precise positioning, absolute magnetic encoders are used on the output side of the belt drives. The robot is operated via a diy control device and Matlab interface.

This robot is intended to serve as a research platform for further robot dev and control schemes. With the vision to make robots available/attainable for many purposes - lowering cost and increasing performance

First things first - since everyone is mainly here for specs and moving robots I guess :)

The Robot Specs:

  • 6 Degrees of Freedom
  • BLDC Servo driven
  • absolute encoders on all axis
  • all structual parts are made from Aluminium
  • belt drives on first four axis, wave gears on axis 5 and 6
  • total weight of the arm about 5 kg
  • max power 1,5 kW (all axis max)
  • max. payload in all poses: 3 kg
  • G1 and G2: 40 Nm max
  • G3: 25 Nm max
  • G4 to G6: 18 Nm max
  • tested maximum Speed G1 at max radius (500 mm): 2 m/s
  • repeatability (20 min continuously testing): 0.02 mm

Moving robot arm - sneak peek


The motivation for the construction of this robot has developed along the project step by step. 

At the beginning of my studies (mechatronics and robotics), I had set myself the goal of developing a robot on which I can practically apply the theory I have learned and thus create knowledge. Using the equipment that I built over the last years (CNC mill, lathe, 3D-printer, ...).

The more I engaged myself with the topic, the more I got an insight. An insight that allows me to better assess the current market of robotics, with fulfilled needs, wishes or visions, and thus the potential of an individual robot - like this one.

For now this robot is intended to serve as a teaching and research platform for further robot development and control schemes, mainly as interactive robot since those most likely have significant impact in our future. I'd like to make this platform available for everyone by further improving it, to be simpler and less expensive to build, but keeping the performance thats needed to allow for direct interaction of the robot and its environment.

Status Quo

The hardware development of the robot, control box and control device (HMI) is completed. This also includes the development of the base software, which allows low-level control, safety and simple motion tasks (point-to-point). The robot has been tested extensively for repeatability/positioning accuracy, maximum torque/force, speed and acceleration, and long-term thermal stability. These tests have resulted in the specifications listed below.

Additionally I developed a joint test bench, which allows me to bring the performance of the robot on hardware and espacially software side to the next level - an interactive one.


My overall vision is to make robots available/attainable for many purposes - lowering cost and increasing performance. So that "the robot" can become part of "the everyday life", what goes far beyond mechanics, electronics and software.

Robot Hardware

In this section I will explain the structure and design of the mechanics and electronics of the robot in more detail. You can find detailed pictures of the actual prototype build process in "build logs".

System Structure

In the following picture the overall system structure of the robot, the control box and the HMI is illustrated.

The robot arm is composed of: the base, the carousel, the swing arm, the wrist, the hand and the flange (6 axis). The base frame is fixed in the reference workspace and is not movable. The connection to the carousel is formed by the first rotation axis. The carousel is connected to the swing arm by means of the second rotation axis. The rotation of the arm , relative to the swing arm, is achieved by means of the the third axis. In this configuration, the first three rotational axes are essentially for the positioning of the tool center point (TCP - intersection point of the last three axes) in the reference workspace. The last three rotational axes are controlled by the connections of arm/wrist, wrist/hand and hand/flange. These axes all meet at one point. Therefore, they are essentially responsible for the orientation of the TCP in the reference  workspace. The flange enables the mechanical connection of tools or gripper systems. In addition, a sensor interface and a power connection in the hand or the arm, respectively,...

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First simultanous test of G2 and G3

quicktime - 7.58 MB - 05/15/2021 at 14:31


View all 16 project logs

  • 1
    Reserved for the next optimized version

    The first version of my robot, presented here, was designed primarily so that I could make it on my machines. The effort for the production of this robot is quite large and in my opinion not necessarily suitable for rebuilding. Exactly for this I would like to optimize the robot in the future, so that it is easier and cheaper to rebuild and can be optimized from there by everybody :)

    Nevertheless, I try to present here as detailed as possible my ideas and results of the robot to create an incentive for own developments :)

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陳嶒永 wrote 09/16/2023 at 17:47 point

@Adrian Prinz Hello I am Peter, I can help you to derive the dynamics equation for any 6 dof serial manipulator

Would you like to share me your DH parameter?

  Are you sure? yes | no

ice2009 wrote 07/04/2023 at 12:49 point

Hello :) can you share cad files for this 6 axis robot ? Thank's

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rraetz wrote 06/06/2023 at 14:31 point

What happened to this project? It looks incredible and I would love to get an update.

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Adrian Prinz wrote 06/06/2023 at 16:10 point

Thanks for asking! A lot happend with the robot. At this point the hardware is finished and working. I am currently working on a advanced control. I am planning to update this page, my Instagram and Youtube in the next weeks. Thank you

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Nam Tran wrote 10/18/2023 at 13:08 point

What reduction ratio are you using for G1 and G2? The calculation I made from the motor specs and the G1 torque give me a ratio of ~130:1. Is that correct?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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