Robotic arms are widely used around the world. So we made one to give an opportunity to see how levers work and are applied in a cool machine. Lifting materials horizontally is important in some places, where an item has to stay level, so with a parallel linkage the gripper stays horizontal. Usually robotic arms grab and move things from one place to another, so this moves about 90 degrees, (along with the up and down).
If doing a fluid power, robotics, engineering design process, or simple machines research and design unit this is a great place to start. This arm kit can be a nice lead-off activity for students by having them make the kit and consider its uses and actions, maneuverability, and applications in the real world. Ideally students work in small groups and then are given an activity to test their teamwork and coordination