You don’t need a JARVIS-style robotic arm, but you’ll definitely want this one

What self-respecting tech lover wouldn’t want their very own programmable five-axis robotic arm? Fortunately, the makers of a new Kickstarter campaign are here to make your wishes come true — or, at least, to make them available for pre-order. Called Dorna, the robot arm is designed to be able to carry out a wide range of complex motions, allowing you to program it to perform tasks ranging from making a salad in your kitchen to shooting smooth, jitter-free footage with a camera.

“Compared to other robots in a similar price range, Dorna is sturdier, more powerful, and more accurate,” Sadegh Tabatabaei, one of the creators of Dorna, told Digital Trends. “Dorna can easily handle 2.5 pounds of payload when fully extended, while other competitors can usually handle one pound, at most. Also, Dorna is extremely accurate. You can expect 0.001-inch repeatability, which is significantly better than similar-priced robots, and is comparable to industrial robots priced at more than $50,000.”

While we have not had the chance to put Dorna through its paces, its creators promise that it will deliver a high-quality finish, with a body crafted from aerospace grade aluminum, and precision components used to achieve a sturdy and accurate and powerful robotic arm.

“Our ideal user is anyone who wants to get serious in robotics without spending a fortune on an industrial robotic arm,” Tabatabaei continued. “You can be a student, artist, researcher, or just a home user and find an application for Dorna in your daily tasks. Anyone with basic knowledge of computers, without knowing any specific programming language, can use Dorna. We have created a user-friendly software, called Dorna Lab, that you can use to control it by jogging around the robot to the points that you are interested in, and then asking the software to play the points consecutively and smoothly to complete a task.”

For advanced users, there is also the opportunity to write more complicated scripts, while the fact that the software and APIs are open-source means that hackers and researchers can modify or improve the software based on their own requirements. Along with the robot arm itself, Dorna can come packaged with different tool heads, including camera attachment, servo gripper, 500mw laser engraver, and two-way tool holders.

In all, it is a tantalizing prospect, and — while not the first robot arm we covered at Digital Trends — if it can deliver on its promises, it could certainly have the makings of one of the best. If you would like to get hold of a unit, you can currently pre-order Dorna on Kickstarter, where prices start at $890 for an unassembled kit. Shipping is set to take place in June.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Emerging Tech

This exotic new material somehow gets thicker when stretched

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leeds have discovered a synthetic material which actually gets thicker the more it’s stretched. Here are some of the things it could be used for.
Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.