Automation tech looking for a high-end arm

Currently working as an instrumentation and controls technician. I’m very familiar with logic, programming, algorithms, etc. however I haven’t broken into straight robotics yet so this is an important part of my career development and something I can afford (literally: $$$) to take seriously.

My first project will be a robotic arm with the Stockfish chess engine on the backend, with the goal being that I could play chess against it on a real chess board. My long term goal is to become a better chess player and eventually put a neural network on the backend that I can play against until it can beat me. Neural networks were an area of special research for me in college so I think this is ambitious enough to work on for potentially several years and gain a lot of valuable exposure to robotics and vision integration.

All that aside, I’m looking to make an investment in a solid platform that I won’t need to waste money upgrading in the future. I understand selecting parts is an important part of learning robotics, but I have done part specification for everything from enterprise servers to process instrumentation so I’m really just looking to skip to the integration at this point and come back to hardware specifics later on. I’ve been looking at Trossen Robotics since they seem to have a pretty robust variety of parts that should offer quality and compatibility.

Are there any other manufacturers I should be looking at? Thank you for your time and advice, I really appreciate it.

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