Marcraft ProArm 2200

Resurrecting an old robot arm.

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Years ago, while in middle school I noticed one of these robot arms in my technology class in junior high. It looked very cool, but I spent all of my time on Lego Logo projects. Fast forward to recently where I found one of these old arms on EBay. I was lucky enough to have the winning bid. The lot only contained the arm (no power supply, interface cables, manual, etc). Soon after that I found the training manual for the arm at an online used book store. Fortunately, this book contains the schematic and all sorts of technical details about the arm.

The plan:
- Hook up an old ATX power supply to the arm (the arm requires +5V and +12V)
- Start figuring out the parallel port protocol. Will try using an Arduino. If that doesn't work, will grab a USB parallel port adapter.

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LmBlueJay wrote 09/17/2022 at 04:03 point

hey, where are you at with this project. I have the same robot and would totally be up to compare notes

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rich.quackenbush wrote 09/19/2022 at 13:42 point

Well, I've gotten nowhere. Unless you count moving the arm from place to place. I've powered it up before using an ATX power supply, but that's about it. I have the technical manual for it and can copy / post the schematics if it's helpful. Heck - this is making me thinking about dusting it off and getting to work!

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LmBlueJay wrote 09/20/2022 at 11:30 point

You should dust it off! Fortunately, I was able to find the manual, too. Before I moved houses I had my robot working and receiving commands through an arduino. It can only  perform routines I’ve programmed right now, not real-time control. 

I need to pull it out again and get it set up, but I did document some of how I got it working. It’s the only project I have up on hackaday so if you’re interested you’ll be able to find the documentation I put up. Happy to chat about it! 

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