• Manipulators with different Sensors
  • Intelligent Control
  • Can be used stand-alone or on a mobile robot
  • High Precision
  • Harmonic Drive - minimizes backlash
  • Quick movement: averaging 90 degrees/second
  • Degree of freedom: 5 or 6 (including a gripper)
  • Controller: Built inside of the cylinder
  • Interface: serial and SPI
  • Power: 12 V DC, maximum 3.5 A
Harmonic Arm is a high-quality programmable robot arm with fully integrated electronics. Custom grippers can be fabricated to the specifications of your research needs. Builtin model in Webots Pro simulation software.

Harmonic Arm 6M is equipped with an additional joint: the wrist. The gripper can be mounted in the direction of the forearm or with an angle of up to 90 degrees, depending on the task.

Presentation (PDF, 964KB)

Catalogue (PDF, 500KB)


  • Research and education mainly in intelligent pick-and-place
  • Industrial handling of objects up to a weight of 500 g


  • Stand-alone, on a linear axis or on a mobile robot
  • Direct control via a serial interface by a PC or a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), or by a special interface of a mobile robot


Harmonic Arm 6M
Motors DC-Motors with integrated digital position encoders
Precision +-0.1 mm (repetition accuracy)
Base Height 188 mm
Degrees of Freedom 5 or 6 (6 Motors)
Working Radius 60 cm
Construction Anodized Aluminum
Weight 4.1 kg
Payload 500 g
Power 12V 3.5A
Velocity Average 90 degrees in 1 second (all joints move in parallel)

Video - 1
(WMV - 804KB)
Video - 2
(WMV - 888KB)
Video - 3
(WMV - 519KB)
Video - 4-1 Initialization
(MPEG - 734KB)
Video - 4-2 Detection and pick-and-place
(MPEG - 1.6MB)
Video - 5
Webots Simulation
(WMV - 2.4 MB)

Communication Interfaces

Basic Protocol
  • The host sends a packet consisting of:
    • in some cases an address to distinguish several Harmonic Arms
    • a command code
    • Parameters/data
    • in some cases a checksum
  • Then, an answer packet will be returned by Harmonic Arm

Interface Variants
At each Harmonic Arm, the following interfaces are available (no need to change software):
Asynchronous Serial
  • Asynchronous Serial: 5V logic level, Default settings 57600 bps , 1 start, 1 stop, 8 data bits, no parity. Requires CMOS-RS232 converter to connect to host computer
    Needed on Host: a bidirectional asynchronous port. If this works on RS-232 logic levels (?12 V), a small converter is plugged in between
Synchronous Serial
  • Standard SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface): two data lines, clock line, select line, synchronous, 5 V logic level, (no addressing, individual select lines used to enable communication)
    Needed on Host: an SPI port, can be emulated by software. Multiple arms can share data and clock lines, but need separate select lines
  • Modified SPI (K-Net): two data lines, a clock and some control lines, synchronous, 5 V logic level, (SPI extended with addressing)
    Needed on Host: an SPI port, can be emulated by software, with additional digital I/O (total incl. data and clock: 4 out, 2 in). One of the digital inputs must be able to detect short pulses, so it should be latched or trigger an interrupt

Grippers and Extensions

Interface Arm - Gripper
  • Fast mechanical connection
  • Coupling for force transfer from the fifth motor to the gripper
  • Power supply and data bus
  • Free electric connection to the arm base, e.g. for a video signal of a miniature video camera above the gripper
Universal Gripper
  • Two-finger gripper with miscellaneous sensors:
    • Infrared reflex sensors inside and outside, e.g., for object detection
    • Local force sensors inside the fingers
    • The sensor values can be read out as digital numbers
    • Gripper is able to grasp small objects with frontmost part and larger ones in the middle part of the gripper
Individual Gripper Constructions: Many Possibilities
  • Universal gripper, but modified shape of the fingers, ev. with different sensors
  • Special gripper, designed for specific tasks, eventually with an additional joint
  • Parallel gripping principle by use of the parallelogram technology
  • Rotating tools: turns by use of the fifth motor

Harmonic Arm mounted on LABO-3 robot

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