The best 5 places to buy a robot arm in 2024

February 27, 2024
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Top 5 places to buy a robot arm online in 2024

  • Standard Bots: Powerful and affordable US-made, AI-powered robotic solutions with expert support for various applications, class-leading power and precision and an incredibly-affordable price point.
  • RobotIQ: User-friendly robotic accessories that empower robots for diverse tasks with intuitive software.
  • OnRobot: Pre-assembled end-of-arm tooling solutions for fast and easy robot deployment with minimal technical expertise.
  • Yaskawa: Reliable and innovative Industrial robots offering a diverse portfolio for various applications with global support.
  • RobotShop: A one-stop shop for all things robotics, catering to every level of interest with a vast selection, user-friendly platform, and supportive community.

What to look for when buying a robot arm

If you're buying a robot arm, there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

  • First, evaluate how much space you have for the robot and give some thought to the reach and number of joints needed for your application.

    More joints = greater flexibility and range of motion, but also a larger footprint. For most industrial or hobby needs, a Five or Six-Axis arm with a max reach of 2-3 feet is ideal.
  • Next, think about payload capacity, which translates to how much weight does your robot need to lift and manipulate? 

    If it's just picking up small, lightweight objects, a lower payload like 2.5-5 kg will work great and keep costs down. But for handling heavier loads, you'll want an arm with a higher payload capacity, up to 25 kg, or even more for industrial use (Industrial robots get up to 300+ kg).
  • You'll also want to consider the level of precision and repeatability you need. Robot arms range from basic entry-level models to highly precise, stiff arms ideal for industrial automation. 

    More precise arms will have tighter tolerances and higher resolution motion controls, but also higher price tags.
    But, for most hobby and education purposes, mid-level precision is perfectly adequate.
  • Another important factor is the controller and programming options. Many robot arms now offer simple drag-and-drop software to quickly get up and running. 

    Some robot arms use dedicated software that allows for detailed programming.
    Some even offer additional interfaces for coding in languages like Python.

    Keep in mind, though, that the best-of-the-best use no-code frameworks that don’t require specialized knowledge to operate. 
  • Finally, think long and hard about your budget.

    Robot arm prices span a wide range, from a few hundred dollars for a small hobby arm up to $50,000 or more for large industrial models. 

    In general, you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $40,000 for a mid-sized arm suitable for small to mid-sized applications. 

Factors that determine robot arm pricing

The cost of a robot arm can vary significantly depending on several important factors; as a buyer, it’s important to understand how these factors influence the final price so you don’t go way over your budget.

They are: 


Imagine the difference between a simple Pick and lace robot with limited movement for repetitive tasks and a powerful industrial arm built for intricate operations in a factory. 

The complexity of the robot, defined by its degrees of freedom, payload capacity, and overall functionality, significantly impacts its price.

Entry-level arms designed for basic tasks will be the most affordable, while those geared towards complex industrial applications or delicate surgical procedures come at a premium.

What’s the brand’s reputation?

Just like any other technology, established brands and providers with a proven track record of quality and performance will go for a higher price. 

These brands have earned their stripes through years of commitment to reliable performance, durable construction, and rigorous safety certifications. 

Does this mean you shouldn’t pay attention to newer brands or distributors? Of course not, but always make sure you ask around and look at reviews (and yes, even newer companies have reviews). 

More options mean more cost

Think of robot arms like cars. The more features they pack, the higher the price tag

Advanced features like multiple end-effectors (different grasping tools), sophisticated sensors for force control or object recognition, and powerful software platforms all contribute to the overall cost.

While basic arms might only come with a simple gripper, others offer a diverse arsenal of interchangeable tools, expanding their capabilities – and driving up the price.

Customization: Off-the-shelf vs bespoke

Imagine buying a pre-made suit versus having one tailored specifically for you. The same principle applies to robot arms.

Off-the-shelf robots, built with standard configurations, are the most affordable option. (Which doesn’t mean “cheap.”)

However, if you need a robot arm designed to meet specific size, shape, or performance requirements, customization comes into play. This engineering process significantly drives up the cost, as it involves tailored design and development to meet your unique needs.

1. Standard Bots

Standard Bots isn't your average robot supplier; they're the engineers behind the RO1, a Six-Axis robot that packs serious muscle without breaking the bank. 

This robot arm has lightning-fast movements (with high repeatability) for efficient operations, heavy-duty lifting capacity (18kg)  for a variety of tasks and pinpoint precision for consistent results, and cutting-edge self-learning AI comparable to GPT-4.

Standard Bots also understand that integrating a robot into your workflow can be daunting. 

That's why they offer:

  • Customizable solutions: Tailor RO1 to your specific needs with various add-ons and configurations.

    Accessible pricing
    , starting at half the cost of their competitors, and a lease model as low as $5/Hr. 
  • Expert support: Their team of specialists is there to guide you through installation, programming, and ongoing maintenance, for a smooth transition and optimal performance.

2. JR Automation

JR Automation has made a name for itself as one of the leading robotics integrators, with a global presence and authorized integration deals with major suppliers. 

Their main strengths are: 

  • Extensive experience: JR Automation has a proven track record across various industries, from automotive giants to food and beverage manufacturers – making them a great fill for mid to large-scale automation projects. 
  • Multi-brand expertise: Unlike some manufacturers who only offer their own robots, JR Automation works with well-established brands like FANUC, ABB, and Yaskawa. 

    This flexibility allows them to tailor the robotic solution to your specific needs and budget.
  • Comprehensive services: JR Automation goes beyond simply supplying robots. They offer a full spectrum of services, including engineering, integration, and ongoing support. 

    While their services may not be the most budget-friendly option, the expertise, flexibility, and comprehensive approach make up for it. 

3. ATS Automation

While more “niche” than JR, ATS automation has made a name for itself as a multifaceted provider in the automation arena. 

Hallmarks of their success:

  • Global reach: ATS Automation has a well-established presence across the globe, making them a strong choice for companies with international operations or aspirations. 
  • Diversified solutions: Their offerings encompass not only robotic integration but also design and manufacturing capabilities; This integrated approach allows them to provide a holistic solution, from concept to implementation. 
  • Industry expertise: ATS Automation has honed in various high-stakes sectors, including the ever-evolving automotive industry, the demanding aerospace sector, and the healthcare domain.

While their solutions might involve a larger investment compared to some competitors, the comprehensive approach, global reach, and industry-specific expertise offered by ATS Automation can be a valuable asset for companies looking to scale.

4. Yaskawa

Yaskawa is a name that’s pretty much synonymous with reliability and innovation in the world of robotics.

For decades, this Japanese titan has been building Industrial robots that are the workhorses of countless factories and production lines. 

Their diverse portfolio caters to a huge range of applications, including:

  • Assembly lines: Yaskawa robots have extremely precise and efficient handling of components, which enables smooth-as-butter production processes.
  • Material handling: From heavy lifting to intricate part manipulation, Yaskawa robots offer the power and versatility to handle a wide range of tasks. 
  • And many more: Their range covers various applications, making them a deservedly big name in the automation space. 

Also, Yaskawa is constantly pushing the boundaries of technology, developing cutting-edge solutions that address evolving industry needs. 

Keep in mind, though, that their robots tend to come with a hefty price tag. 

Their three flagship models are:

  • MOTOMAN GP Series
  • MOTOMAN MH Series

5. RobotShop

Whether you're a seasoned industrialist seeking advanced solutions or a curious hobbyist just starting your exploration, RobotShop caters to all levels of interest and expertise.

They have a vast selection of: 

  • Industrial robots: With a comprehensive range of robots from leading and “B” brands, suitable for various industrial applications and automation needs.
  • Educational kits: Perfect for learning the fundamentals and experimenting with different functionalities.
  • Hobbyist kits: Not really ready to enter the professional automation sphere? RobotShop’s hobbyist kits let you build and program your own robots, fostering hands-on learning and exploration.

Additionally, their large online community provides a platform to connect with other robotics enthusiasts, share experiences, collaborate on projects, and get the latest news in the robotics space.

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Don't forget about grippers and other add-ons

Grippers and other add-ons play a huge role in how effectively your robotic arm can perform its intended tasks. Keep these in mind:

  • Grippers: These are essentially the hands of your robot arm, allowing it to pick up, hold, and manipulate various objects. Depending on what you need your robot to handle, you might choose from a range of gripper types. Some are OK for delicate items, offering gentle handling without causing damage, while others are made for strength, and capable of gripping heavier objects like nobody’s business.
  • Vision systems: For jobs that need high precision, vision systems can be a lifesaver. They enable the robot to "see" its environment, identify objects, and make adjustments in real time for accurate placement.
  • Software and control systems: The “brain” behind the operation. Software and control systems dictate the robot's movements and actions; advanced programming options allow for greater flexibility and the ability to perform complex sequences.
  • Options for customization: Many manufacturers offer customization options that let you tailor your robot arm to your specific needs – this could include modifications to the arm's reach, payload capacity, or even the integration of specialized sensors.

Adding these components to your setup might increase the initial investment, but they can significantly expand your robot arm's functionality.

Direct purchase vs using a distributor/integrator

By buying straight from the maker (such as Standard Bots) you're cutting out the middleman and getting your new robot arm directly from the creators. 

This gets you personalized offers, a better understanding of the product you’re getting, and access to more customized support – which is necessary, especially if you face any issues down the line. 

This is also very useful if you need a specific order fulfilled now.

Conversely, opting for a distributor or a systems integrator, such as RobotShop, might mean a slight increase in price due to their markup.

However, the trade-off is you also get their knowledge and support on your side. They're there to figure out which arm suits your project best and might even throw in setup and programming help

So, what's the smarter move? For hobbyists, educators, and those just starting out, leaning on a distributor or integrator's expertise might be the safer way to go.

But, if you’re looking to get serious about automation, there’s nothing like going directly to the maker – especially if you know what you want/need.

Summing up

Those are the top 5 spots to get your robot arm and take your automation efforts to the next level in 2024

Whether you're a hobbyist looking to tinker or a professional needing industrial-strength equipment, this list has you covered. 

Now, the choice of whether to contact a manufacturer directly or talk to a robot integrator is in your hands! 

Next steps

Looking to avoid the hassle of working with a robotics integrator? Dive into automation with Standard Bots’ RO1, and let us handle the setup for you!

  • Cost-effective tech: RO1 isn't just about cutting-edge technology; it's also incredibly budget-friendly. Offering advanced automation at half the price of its peers, it's accessible for businesses of all sizes.
  • Better performance: With a remarkable 18 kg payload capacity and outshining its rivals in both speed and accuracy, RO1 redefines expectations. Its sophisticated self-learning technology, akin to GPT-4, sets new standards in robotic capabilities.
  • Inherently safe: With RO1, safety comes built-in. Its comprehensive sensors and collision avoidance technology ensure operations are secure, even in the busiest of settings.
  • Self-learning and adaptable: Standing at the forefront of automation, RO1 excels in adapting on the fly, learning from real-world interactions, and making adjustments autonomously as required.

Experience the blend of AI's adaptability and robotic strength with a no-cost, 30-day trial. Our dedicated team is on standby to help you seamlessly integrate RO1's revolutionary technology into your existing operations.

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