Robot arms are awesome. I think that’s a pretty safe statement to make. We’ve seen all sizes and varieties of robot arms and the general sentiment is always … “wow, that’s cool”. The Dorna 2 keeps this trend going, even though we didn’t have enough time with it to really test it’s potential.
Pulling the Dorna 2 out of the box, I found that there was no assembly or preparation needed to get the arm moving. Well, that’s not entirely true. I had to clamp it down, and plug 2 wires into the control box. After that, I was ready to start making it move!
The control interface is web based. You open a browser and connect to the control software on their website, which can then connect to the control box. From what I understand, you don’t absolutely need to do that, so you can operate completely off the internet. Actually, I loaded the software then disconnected from the internet completely each time I used it, so I know you don’t have to remain connected to the net.
The visual interface is functional. I wouldn’t say it is elegant, but it serves the base purpose of controlling the robot. You can set joint locations individually or by setting x,y,z coordinates for the tool head. You can also do somewhat of a crude point by point “training” where you record positions and it will play them back to you.
It is technically possible to move the arc of motion visually, but if you’re a photographer hoping to edit splines visually , you’re going to need to learn some code instead.
The true power of the arm is released when you dig in and start coding. You’ve got complete control over every aspect of the motion, speed, acceleration, and smoothness. The control box has extra I/O as well as an extra couple axis ready to go, so you can do things like add a gripper or whatever other kind of end effector you want with minimal hassle.
Sadly, my time with this robot was cut somewhat short just by the nature of the fact that I have work to do on other videos and magazine articles. I didn’t have time to fumble my way through writing elegant code (I’m a copy/paste cowboy at best), and I certainly didn’t have time to design interesting mechanical end effectors for it and program them. All I really had time for was to make it draw some pictures and do some cool camera movements.