HomeBusinessCrowdfunding Robotics: The Thin Line between Success and Failure

Crowdfunding Robotics: The Thin Line between Success and Failure

Kickstarter is a fantastic tool for those looking to raise capital, without the need to trot all over the globe looking for sponsors. With a well thought-out campaign, a global audience is right there at entrepreneurs’ fingertips and can be set up in just a matter of minutes. They can also see the level of support, live fundraising totals and open up dialogue for backers. If used correctly, they can be incredibly powerful tools.

For Chinese robotics firm UFACTORY, it was just that. This is not their first foray into Kickstarter to fund new and innovative products, but it is certainly their most successful. Their other products haven’t flopped that’s for certain, but no campaign has been as successful as quickly as this one. In only 1 hour, the company had their initial funding target of $200,000 met and in just 18, their total funding goal was raised. Even for the most sought after products, that is pretty spectacular.

The latest success is the xArm

The item on offer, a robotic manufacturing arm aimed at small to medium businesses called the xArm. Production times come down, labor costs come down and productivity raises by up to 95%. A pretty big claim, but one that seemed to be backed by working prototypes. The ultimate goal is to make the most affordable industrial robotic arm on the market.


The arm itself has almost human-like flexibility combined with robotic accuracy and some very clever AI to make it far more reliable, and efficient than other models out there. Whether its production lines or research, the arm can be left running 24 hours a day and comes with a range of attachments that mean the arm itself is incredibly versatile in the work it can complete.

What made the campaign so successful though? Well, one of the main things was the market it was aimed at. The xArm carries a price tag of $2,299 and $5,999, which massively opens up the buying potential for smaller businesses. Many products of this type are simply too expensive for anything other than large-scale operations to invest in.


It also means that developers frequently overlook the smaller and medium businesses when pitching their campaigns. They rely on backers with huge sums of money to invest and that sort of money is generally not invested on Kickstarter as it is seen as too risky.

Filling the gaps and solving the problems

UFACTORY have identified a clear gap in the market, but rather than charge a fortune to fill it, they’ve gone the opposite route. They’ve got a much-needed product and they aim to offer it at a great price rather than making businesses pay through the nose. This has meant popularity for the xArm has risen rapidly and will likely continue to do so.

Working prototypes and a well-planned Kickstarter campaign meant backers felt confident that this product would make it into the live market and were much more willing to invest. All too often, campaigns promise the world but deliver very little. UFACTORY has also got a reputation for delivering on their other Kickstarters, which is a huge help toward their credibility and made people far more willing to part with their money.

YouTube: The Most Cost-Effective Intuitive Industrial Robotic Arm – xArm

Photo credit: All images used are owned by UFACTORY and we received the permission to use them for this article.

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Melanie Hawthorne
Mel is a UK-based journalist that has been writing about tech, science and video games for a few years now. After studying in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs before she settled on what she really wanted to do – write about the exciting world of technology and the delightfully strange things it sometimes produces.