If you've ever wished you had room in your home for a factory-grade, industrial 6-axis robot arm, stop wishing. Enter the Mirobot, a "compact, affordable, and open-source" desktop robot arm.
The Mirobot looks like a promising tool for makers that was inspired by the ABB IRB 6700 industrial robot arm, which factories around the world are already making use of for various projects. Equipped with open source software, it's appropriate for veteran users, beginners, robot experts and anyone looking to enter the robotics sphere, even on a curious level.
Utilizing OpenMV and machine vision code, it can be used for optical flow, shape detection, and the more difficult vision tasks you may not be able to accomplish on your own, such as viewing items not easily seen by the naked eye. It can also hold a GoPro or camera to make filming projects easier with an additional "hand" to help out. It can be controlled via remote or an app or via Mirobot Studio, however you choose.
It can even be used to carry out programmable writing tasks using the custom software it ships with. If you want it to write a special handwritten note, well, it can do that too, in addition to 3D pen drawings. It accomplishes these myriad tasks thanks to its 0.2 mm high precision repeatability, 6-axis level of flexibility, multiple end effectors, and its open source GRBL-based firmware and Mega2560-based control board schematics. Basically, anyone can work to improve the arm and its software.
The project is up on Kickstarter now, with $172,083 pledged at the time of this writing, 405 backers and 32 days to go. It only needed $30,000 to reach full funding, and it's already managed to do so, with plenty of more time to totally exceed the funds necessary to bring it to fruition.