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I was wondering if anyone knew of any easy-to-use plug and play systems, that allow you to build and programme a number of actuators and motors quickly and easily?

I'm thinking something like Lego Mindstorms, but for adults. I.e. with more powerful motors. I need to be able to generate a torque of around 10 Nm, at a speed of around 10 rpm, and I need to control the rotation angles. Could be either stepper motors, or normal DC motors with hall sensors to measure number of rotations. I'm at the beginning of my journey into robotics, so don't mind paying a bit more for the parts in favour of speeding up my learning curve!

If it's not clear already, I'm looking for an "off-the-shelf" product, with a range of products I can browse, and accumulate an increasing number of components over the years.

Many thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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  • $\begingroup$ ARM Automation in Austin used to make modular, integrated (containing motor, drive, and controller) components. I don't think they produce them anymore but you may be able to find some. Khosla's team at Carnegie-Mellon also studied robots built up from such subsystems, including the ability to self-learn their kinematics and dynamics. You may be able to search based on this to see if anything ever went commercial from his team. $\endgroup$ – SteveO Dec 22 '16 at 11:52
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Maybe you are interested on the Maxon motor kit, but is a little expensive, but, you can control DC motors precisely like servos, because they comes with rotation encoders and are very powerful and enough RPM's for big scale robotic, using positioning controllers over CANopen protocol or if you prefer, can control motors using Arduino or PI sending signals to the drivers, but it includes his own software... Maxon motors are used for the most sophisticated applications on robotics, take a tour for the Maxon's web: http://www.maxonmotor.com/ you can request catalogs and find many other resources for learning...

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