Maplin produce a building kit for a 5 motor robotic arm. It is brilliant and takes about 3 hours to construct.
It costs £29.99 which is a snip for this level of automation. The five stage motors are controlled by a simple windows interface which allows you to explore its movement:
What is really cool is connecting this to Scratch and getting a full program of movement to be created. This is done by the following steps
1. Install Alan Bells brilliant python interface on your Linux computer. https://github.com/AlanBell/robopi
2. Then program Scratch to control the arm using broadcast commands.
My children were able to create a program to pick up objects and fill a container. Here is a simple Video of Alan’s first attempt:
Three cheers to Alan Bell!!!