The 3 cheapest Industrial robot arms (Which don’t skimp on quality)

February 13, 2024
Standard Bots robot visualizer

What is an Industrial robot arm?

An Industrial robot arm is a robotic manipulator designed to perform industrial tasks like welding, painting, assembly, pick and place, packaging and palletizing, product inspection, and testing

They typically have a multi-jointed arm attached to a stationary base that can be programmed to move and manipulate objects with high speed and precision.

Industrial robot arms were created to handle difficult, repetitive, and dangerous tasks in manufacturing environments

The goal of industrial arm manufacturers is to help you increase productivity, reduce cost, and improve quality and safety. Many factories and production facilities already employ these arms to streamline operations.

How much does an Industrial robot arm cost?

The cost of an Industrial robot arm can vary a lot depending on several factors. 

For instance, a small tabletop arm may start around $10,000, while a large articulated arm can cost $100,000 or more (Bet you weren’t planning on buying a house today). 

But it’s not all so cut and dried. These factors will affect the overall cost of the arm: 

What’s it going to cost you? 

The robot arm itself is obviously a major cost. More complex arms with a higher number of joints and degrees of freedom, as well as those made of sturdier, higher-quality materials, will sell at a higher price. 

Arms intended for heavy-duty, high-precision tasks in demanding environments are more expensive than those for simple pick and place work.

Will you need any additional equipment? 

You’ll also need a controller to operate the arm, as well as software to program it. Safety equipment like enclosures, emergency stops, and sensors add to the total.

Keep in mind that most modern robot arms use self-learning AI, but that typically comes at a premium. 

Do you need installation and integration? 

Integrating the arm into your production line and making sure it works smoothly with other equipment also contributes significantly to the overall cost. 

Typically, you need installation and integration by vetted, seasoned pros. 

Are you factoring in maintenance and repair costs? 

Like any complex machinery, robot arms require ongoing maintenance, servicing, and occasional repairs which can cost thousands per year. 

It’s important to account for these long-term costs when budgeting for an Industrial robot arm. 

Also worthy of note: Some of the best robot arms don’t require that much maintenance. While the upfront cost may be bigger, the ROI (1-3 years) and low maintenance budget are major benefits.

Standard Bots routine editor

The 3 best cheap Industrial robot arms (that won’t skimp on quality)

Now, time to finally get into our breakdown of the best 3 budget-friendly robot arms out there.

They are: 

RO1 by Standard Bots

RO1 is a small Six-Axis robot arm that won’t break the bank but still offers unmatched capabilities in its class. 

At half the price of its closest competitors, RO1 is ideal for small and medium businesses that want to bring the best of industrial automation to their shop floor. 

This desktop robot arm has a reach of over 51 inches and can lift up to 18 kilograms, enough for pick and place operations, CNC machine tending, and assembly tasks.

It moves ultra-quickly and precisely, with a repeatability of 0.025mm, and compatibility with standard M8 8-pin and M8 4-pin connectors. 

Also, standard end-of-arm tooling, like grippers, can be easily attached to its wrist for manipulating various objects.

The second-best part? There’s no prior programming experience required to get started because RO1 operates on a revolutionary no-code framework.

And the best? RO1 operates with state-of-the-art self-learning AI, allowing it to learn at a level comparable to GPT-4. 

All in all, RO1 makes the top of our list as the best Industrial robot arm that doesn’t require you to own a fortune in Bitcoin. 

DOBOT Magician

The DOBOT Magician is an excellent starter arm for light industrial automation and robotics education. At under $1,700, it provides a budget-friendly way to get into robotics without losing too much quality. 

This Four-Axis robot arm can perform pick and place, sorting, packaging, and assembly applications with small payloads of up to 1 kg. 

It also offers a large work area and reach, with a radius of up to 310 mm. 

The Magician is controlled through the intuitive Dobot Studio software, which lets you easily program the arm without needing super-specialized knowledge. 

The Magician provides an aluminum alloy structure, high-precision servos, and durable hardware at an affordable price

While it may lack some of the speed, power, and advanced features of more expensive industrial arms, the DOBOT Magician offers excellent value. 

It’s a great way for small businesses, maker spaces, and schools to get started with robotics without having to take out huge government loans. 

But, some things to keep in mind with this bad boy: 

  • It requires a PC or laptop to operate and doesn’t have an onboard controller.
  • The 1 kg payload may be limiting for some industrial uses. For heavier loads, you’ll need a higher-payload arm.
  • It is best for tabletop or workbench mounting. A floor mount is available but will cost extra.

7Bot Six Axis robot arm

The 7Bot is an affordable Six-Axis robot arm (we know, the 7 and the 6 can be confusing) made in China that provides high precision and repeatability for basic automation tasks. 

Initially billed at $350 on a Kickstarter funding drive, it currently goes $1,700, up to over $9,000 depending on the application.

The 7Bot can handle payloads up to 5 kilograms with an impressive reach of up to 650 millimeters.

This skilled and nimble robot arm allows for quick setup and deployment, getting your automation up and running fast.

The 7Bot features all-metal gearing and high-quality servo motors for reliability, as well as multiple end-effector options like grippers for flexible applications.

The durable design and high accuracy mean lower maintenance costs and minimal downtime.  

An intuitive touchscreen teach pendant makes programming the 7Bot a pleasure. You just move the arm to the desired positions, and the 7Bot will memorize the path for consistent, repetitive movement.

Although more complex automation may require a more advanced, expensive Industrial robot, for many basic tasks the 7Bot gives a good enough balance of capability and value.


How much does a typical Industrial robot arm cost?

Industrial robot arms can range from a few thousand dollars up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on their capabilities and features. In general, you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $100,000 for a robotic arm. The specific price will depend on factors like:

  • The number of axes (3 to 6 axes are common)
  • Payload capacity
  • Reach and range of motion
  • Programming requirements
  • Additional equipment like end-effectors, software, training, and installation

For a small business on a budget, there are more affordable options that go below $50,000 and can still handle light assembly tasks. Look for arms with lower payloads and fewer axes of movement if necessary. 

What are the typical trade-offs between cheap and expensive Industrial robot arms?

Inexpensive robot arms typically have more limited functionality and durability compared to higher-end models.

 Some of the main trade-offs to keep in mind can include:

  • Payload capacity: Cheaper arms generally have a lower max payload, around 5 kg or less. More expensive arms can handle 10 kg and up.
  • Precision and speed: Higher-cost arms usually offer higher precision, faster cycle times, and smoother movement. Cheaper arms may be more prone to vibration, instability, and slower operation.
  • Software and programming: More affordable arms typically have basic software that requires manual programming. Expensive arms often have intuitive software for programming complex tasks, and some offer advanced features like advanced machine learning or 3D vision.
  • Durability and lifespan: Cheaper arms generally have a shorter lifespan of 3 to 5 years, while expensive industrial arms are built to last 10-15 years or more in demanding, always-on factory environments.
  • Technical support: You'll get more comprehensive support, service contracts, and warranties with a higher-end arm versus a more basic affordable model.

Summing up

In summary, that’s the three cheapest Industrial robot arms that still deliver quality functionality without cutting too many corners

We covered the key specs, capabilities, and price points to help you find the right bot for your budget and application, whether you’re a small-scale educational venture, an SME wanting to break into the automation game, or a hobbyist with a few bucks to spare

Standard Bots equipment manager
Standard Bots camera vision
Press contacts