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Creating an Xbox Robot Arm is something that I’ve been wanting to do ever since I saw the post by Kevin Drouglazet who was able to utilize an Xbox Controller with an arm he created and was so friendly to publish the design files for (I am definitely not a hardware designer 😅) - thanks for that Kevin!

Another reason why I wanted to do this is to have more practical knowledge and hands-on experience in the Reinforcement Learning domain. Since with this Robot Arm, I saw the potential to learn physical action control which will translate in world changes that can be virtual, opening up the realm of possibilities for use cases.

To make this post more understandable, I decided to do an in-depth coverage over multiple articles. In the first part I will detail how this Robotic Arm extension was built and how you can make the robot arm control the right tuhmbstick when you are moving with the left thumbstick. While in the second part, I will go deeper on how we are then able to utilize a Unity Environment and train it to eventually be controlled by the robotic arm.

Let’s start off with the parts required for this build. In total I paid around $75.00 for this build ($20.00 without the Xbox controller)

Arduino Nano (~ $1.89)
2x MG-90S servos (~ $4.30)
2x MR105ZZ Ball Bearings (5 x 10 x 4mm) (~ $3.99 for 20)
10x M2x10mm self tapping screw
Zip Ties (~ $2.83 for 50)
Wires (~ $2.00)
Dupont Connectors (~ $5.00 for a box)
Xbox Controller (~ $55.00)”

Link to article