1953 – G.E. “O-Man” Manipulator – (American)

ge o man 1953 life 1 Copy x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

1953 – G.E. "O-Man" Manipulator

ge o man 1953 life 5 Copy x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

GE O Man PSMar1954p119 x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

Source: Popular Science, March 1964.

Handyman robot o man x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)
G.E,'s Handyman is seen here mounted under an O-Man.

o man meccanofeb63 x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

Source: Meccano Magazine, February 1963.

Perhaps the world's most powerful mechanical arm was developed several years ago in America. Named "O-Man" (for Overhead-MANipulator), this 15-ton remote-controlled giant makes possible the assembly or dismantling of large machinery by the twist of a knob or the flick of a lever. This mechanical "Tarzan" was built as the answer to the need for a device with several times the lifting power of existing mechanical arms, yet with equal verstility.
By comparison, if a man were as strong as "O-Man" he would be able to carry 5,000 Lb. on his back, lift 3,000 lb. from the floor, hold 1,000 lb. with his arm extended horizontally, or lift and manipulate a piano with is forearm and wrist.
"O-Man's" chief job is to pick up heavy parts, position them and fasten them into place. It can drill and tap holes, use power wrenches, hammers, or riveters, and if need be, can handle a sheet metal saw.
While its grip lacks the flexibility of human fingers, it otherwise posesses the same degree of motion as the human hand and arm, plus the ability to telescope its "forearm" and revolve its wrist.
In a special test, it twisted an iron bar into a corkscrew then tied it into a neat knot. Yet, although not intended for delicate tasks, "O-Man", with its twin steel fingers, can whip up, slice, and serve a cake or pick up and pour a glass of water, so refined can its touch be made.
Resembling a gun turret, the big device operates from a crane bridge, its vertical manoeuvrability ranging from floor level to the height of the crane bridge. Power control is supplied by means of 140 separate wires in multi-festooned cable. The heart of the control mechanism is a system of 8 amplidynes–devices that provide automatic control giving smooth operation and limiting all motions to prevent damage to equipment.

oman press 57 2 x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

oman press 57 4 x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

o man press 57 x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)


GenMills M700 pic x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

General Mills later made the O-Man called Model 700 Manipulator.

GenMills M700 specs2 x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)

GenMills M700 specs x640 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American)


Other GE Manipulators (not CAMS):

PM1950 GE Robot x80 1953   G.E. O Man Manipulator   (American) 1950 – GE Manipulator – Manual or remote control

See other early Teleoperators and Industrial Robots here.


1954 – Teledoctor – Hugo Gernsback (American)

teledoctor 1954 gernsback x640 1954   Teledoctor   Hugo Gernsback (American)  teledoctor 1954 x640 1954   Teledoctor   Hugo Gernsback (American)

Gernsback, Hugo "The Teledoctor", Television, Feb. 1955 pp. 22-24.

Hugo Gernsback's 1954 solution to the doctor shortage was the ultimate in bringing the patient to the overworked physician: an updated version of the 1924 Radio Doctor called the "Teledoctor."

radio news 1924 apr radio doctor gernsback x640 e1410774666640 1954   Teledoctor   Hugo Gernsback (American)

Delivered to your front door on a rental plan, this melding of television and diagnostics was supposed to be capable of measuring blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and even had a built-in stethoscope.

But it wasn't just a remote monitoring device with a two-way television attached, it also incorporated the latest in remote-controlled robot hands (or claws in this case) that allowed the attending physician to administer tests, write prescriptions, give injections, bandage wounds, and even perform minor surgery from the comfort of his office.

All this television interchange, data traffic and robot-manipulation signal was transmitted through an ordinary phone.   It's interesting how the television apparatus pictured here looks the right size for 1954, but the mechanical arms and such take up surprisingly little room even by today's standards.

Notice also that the mechanical arms on the patient's end have elbows, but the doctor's control rods don't, which would have made it a bit like performing surgery in a pair of arm casts.  Above images and text sourced from David Szondy.

The hand controls on the doctor's master arm are reminiscent of John Payne's 1948 manipulator arms.

It wasn't until 1954 that Ray Goertz developed his  Electro-Mechanical Manipulator. As well as offering force-reflection (force-feedback), it was acknowledged to offer the capability to operate the slave remotely from the master (because it is  electrically coupled, not mechanically coupled). This extended remote control materialized with Goertz's Remote Servo-manipulator in 1958.


See other early Teleoperators here.


1958 – Mobile Remote Servo-manipulator – Ray Goertz et al (American)

Mascot Telechir P1 x640 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Mobile Remote Servo-manipulator.

mascot press 1 x640 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Caption: Robot Demonstrations Of The Atomic Age: Many onlookers – including schoolboys were thrilled by the robot "hands" – dealings with a variety of tasks on one of the stands at the Geneva Atomic Exhibition. The "almost human hands" are used in dealing with radio-active materials behind protective walls and are controlled from a distance with the aid of thick glass windows or with the medium of TV. Photo shows This American made slave robot is designed for the handling of radio-active materials 1/4 and is seen at the Geneva Exhibition. Photo is dated 09-09- 1958.

argonne 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

In use at Argonne National Laboratories, located outside Chicago, Illinois, USA.

KSB45177 Copy x640 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

50347909 remote control manipulator goertz x640 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Slave unit.

50347944 remote control manipulator goertz x640 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Slave unit in the foreground; master unit in the background.

50347917 remote control manipulator goertz x640 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Source: Above 3 images from Getty.


Publication number    US2978118 A
Publication date    Apr 4, 1961
Filing date    Nov 3, 1959
Inventors    Raymond C Goertz, John H Grimson, Frank A Kohut
Original Assignee    Raymond C Goertz, John H Grimson, Frank A Kohut

 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Publication number    US3018980 A
Publication date    Jan 30, 1962
Filing date    Nov 3, 1959
Inventors    Downers Grove, Goertz Raymond C, Lindberg John F
Original Assignee    Downers Grove, Goertz Raymond C, Lindberg John F

This invention relates to a remote-control manipulator in which slave and master units are electrically interconnected. More specifically, the invention relates to such a manipulator in which two slave units are mounted side by side on a mobile vehicle.
Goertz et al. Patent 2,846,084, dated August 5, 1958, discloses and claims a manipulator having master and slave units electrically connected with one another. 'With such a manipulator the master and slave units can be extensively separated from one another, and the slave unit can be completely sealed in an enclosure.
The present manipulator is an improvement of that of the above Goertz et al. patent in that two slave units as well as two master units are mounted side by side to take advantage of the two hands of the human operator and the two slave units are mounted on a mobile vehicle so as to reach a maximum amount of space.
One desirable feature of the assembly of two slave units and vehicle is that it takes up a relatively small amount of space so that it may be readily maneuverable and have access to the maximum space. Another desirable feature is that the slave units and vehicle should be readily repairable by another manipulator if operation in a sealed enclosure is indicated.
An object of the present invention is to provide a manipulator unit of compact arrangement and size which enable the unit along with a similar unit and a mobile vehicle carrying the units to occupy a small amount of space.
A further object is to provide a manipulator unit that is so constructed and arranged as to be readily repairable.

 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Publication number    US2846084 A
Publication date    Aug 5, 1958
Filing date    Jun 21, 1955
Inventors    Goertz Raymond C, Olsen Robert A, Thompson William M
Original Assignee    Goertz Raymond C, Olsen Robert A, Thompson William M

 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)


isea97 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

Note: This Remote Manipulator is not MASCOT.


See other early Teleoperators, Exoskeletons and Industrial Robots here.


1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

goertz e1 1a x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator by Ray Goertz (pictured)

Goertz E3 x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

mark4a manipulator x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

goertz e4a master manipulator x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

goertz e4a master servo x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

goertz e4a schematic x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

goertz e4a servo x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

multiple manipulators goertz x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

50666626 atomic energy exhibit in the us pavilion gettyimage x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

E4A slave x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

Model E4a Slave unit.

goertz master slave modes x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

Diagram by Goertz showing the various control modes of Master-Slave arms.


Patent information:

Publication number    US2846084 A
Publication date    Aug 5, 1958
Filing date    Jun 21, 1955
Inventors    Goertz Raymond C, Olsen Robert A, Thompson William M
Original Assignee    Goertz Raymond C, Olsen Robert A, Thompson William M

 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)


Historical Significance:

Goertz first described the force reflection manipulator in 1952 – Goertz RC, ‘A force reflecting positional servo mechanism’, Nucleonics, Vol 10, Part II, pp43-45, 1952. Other remote manipulator systems of the time were either mechanical, hydraulic, or electro-hydraulic, needing to be closely coupled. Sixty years later we are still seeing ideas that this invention spawned. Ideas such as telepresence in areas such as underwater and outer-space.

Goertz ANL unmanned robot configuration   Copy x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

From 1960, Ray Goertz, who invented electrically remote manipulators for the nuclear industry, together with his team at Argonne Nuclear Laboratories (ANL), were engaged by NASA to specify teleoperator configurations for the Lunar space program. The result is illustrated above.

It should be noted that floating vehicles share one problem. This is their inability to stay immobile relative to the object on which they must act. Hence, they are equipped with docking arms, other than the manipulator(s) directly intended to execute the task, to attach them to the object of their task, whether this is another satellite or an underwater oil platform.


Earlier 1949 Mechanical Manipulator by Goertz.

RSF50243 x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

1949 goertz press 1 x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

Ray Goertz with his prototype manipulators.

Manipulator 1948 ANL Mod1 x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

goertz 49 proto 1 x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)

goertz 49 proto 2 x640 1954 – ElectroMechanical Manipulator – Ray Goertz (American)


See other early Teleoperators, Exoskeletons and Industrial Robots here.


1928 – “The Psychophonic Nurse” (Fiction) – David H. Keller (American)

“The Psychophonic Nurse”, by David H. Keller. Published in Amazing Stories, 1928

The Psychophonic Nurse Frank R Paul 1928 1928   The Psychophonic Nurse (Fiction)   David H. Keller (American)

Illustration by Frank R. Paul.

The Psychophonic Nurse
A child-care robot – a nanny bot.

“I had her made by the Eastinghouse Electric Company. You see, she’s just a machine nurse, but as she doesn’t eat anything, is on duty twenty-four hours a day, and draws no salary, she’s cheap at the price I paid.”

“…let me show you how she works. She’s made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic intruments, and by means of tubes such as are used in the radio, she’s very sensitive to sounds. She’s connected to the house current by a long, flexible cord, which supplies her with the necessary energy. To simplify matters, I had the orders put into numbers instead of sentences. One means that the baby is to be fed; seven that she’s to be changed…”

“…When I ordered this machine … I bought a phonograph with clock attachment. It will run for twenty-four hours without attention. Then I had a baby doctor work out a twenty-four hour programme of infant activity for different ages. Our baby is about two months old. You put this phonograph with the two-month record on it in the nursery… At definite periods of the twenty-four hours the phonograph will call out a number and the nurse will do what is necessary…

Article sourced from here.

[RH - one wonders how long baby would be in soiled daipers before the appropriate 'number' came up?]

The above fictional robot was inspired by the then new and wonderful Westinghouse Televox of 1927, which operated in s similar fashion.


See other early Domestic Service Robots here.