The degrees of freedom, or DOF, is a very important term to understand. Each degree of freedom is a joint on the arm, a place where it can bend or rotate or translate. You can typically identify the number of degrees of freedom by the number of actuators on the robot arm. Now this is very important – when building a robot arm you want as few degrees of freedom allowed for your application!!! Why? Because each degree requires a MOTOR often an ENCODER, and exponentially complicated algorithms and cost.