Archive for the ‘Early Industrial Robots’ Category

1982-4 – MAR-1 Agricultural Robot – Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

Autonomous Mobile Robot (MAR-1) [Мобильный автономный робот (МАР-1)] was created by the Division of agricultural robotics at the Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers in the early 1980s in the Soviet Union.

English text and some images sourced from Vadym Shvachko's Robotic blog here.

Agricultural robot MAR 1 Goryachkina 80s x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

The first model of MAR-1.

Image source - Юный техник 1982-11, страница 16

The first model of MAP-1 was designed to serve the livestock complex. The robot was made so that it can use existing walkways on farms (calculated per person), modern equipment and tools.

Agricultural robot MAR 1 view x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

Wheeled and tracked models MAR-1.
MAP 1 agric robot x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)
The height of the robot – 1850 millimeters, the area of ​​the base – a third of a square meter. He has a pair of hands that have eight degrees of freedom. Machine body rotates in either direction around a vertical axis. This further increases the possibility of "hands." Hydraulic "muscles" of each hand, lift up to 75 pounds of cargo. Tactile transducers allow fingers to register or impact compression force in the range of 0.0294 g to 112.7 kg, the temperature is from 0.4 to 180 º C and humidity of 3 to 99 percent. MAR-1 is made prefabricated (detachable hand, aggregated oil-hydraulic, power, navigation and locating subsystem).

C0156199 Model of proposed agricultural robot SPL x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

MAR 1 p34b x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

map 1 sketch x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

Agricultural robot MAR 1  scheme x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

The scheme MAR-1

1 – Power Touch sensitization, 2 – Block hand-grips;
3 – Automatic control unit and communication, 4 – hydraulic power unit;
5 – The navigation block, 6 – Power supply unit.

The internal clock is fed MAR-1 team to start work. In memory of automatic operator contain information about the livestock complex technological environment, all of the aisles, entrances and exits, production sites. There is also a sub-system, which will not allow the robot to stay on track. Arriving at the workplace, MAP-1 itself is connected to the power supply, communication lines, control panel or computer. During operation, the device automatically controls the state of the environment (humidity, fumes) and animals (temperature, thickness of subcutaneous fat).
MAR 1 p34a x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

p0035   Copy   Copy x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

MAR 1 p34 x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

TM8407O1 MAR 1 x640 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)

see pdf hereTM8407O1 x150 1982 4   MAR 1 Agricultural Robot   Moscow Institute of Agricultural Engineers (Soviet)


 

1959 – “TransfeRobot” – Shelley et al (American)

transferobot flickr 2 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)

transferobot flickr 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)


 

TRANSFER ROBOT 200 – NEW BOND STREET

 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)

2607.10 | TRANSFER ROBOT 200 – NEW BOND STREET
(1:13:11:00 – 1:14:31:00) 1961 London.

LS. Mr Miduch, the mechanic, switches on three robots. CU. Mechanic looking on. CU. Robots working. CU. Switch panel. CU. One robot working. MS. Three robots working together, they pause and two robots wait for signal from first then continue. MS. The inventor Mr Shelly, talking to mechanic, Mr Miduch and to camera – no sound.

(Orig. Neg.) Date found in the old record – 14/08/1961.

Transferobot p1 x640 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)

Transferobot p2 x640 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)

Transferobot Shelly x640 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)

Edwin F. Shelley.


transferobot shelley pat 1 x640 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)

transferobot shelley pat 2 x640 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)

 

Automatic Handling and Assembly Servosystem by E. F. Shelley et al. See full patent details here.

Patent number: 3007097
Filing date: Jul 2, 1959
Issue date: Oct 31, 1961


N/C-type programming for robots was pioneered in the 1950s by Edwin F. Shelley and his colleagues at US Industries. While research director at the Bulova Watch Company, Shelley sought ways to eliminate repetitive, monotonous manual tasks typical of light assembly work. In 1959, after moving to US Industries, Shelley filed for a patent on an "automatic handling and assembly servosystem," a device which evolved into US Industries' TransfeRobot. This fully programmable positioning system was designed for precision parts transfer and accurate placement operations for small parts, and had closed loop positioning control in three axes. Unlike the record-playback Unimate, the Transferobot was programmed much like a plugboard-type N/C machine. A kinematic study of the task to be performed was made to break it down into a series of discrete motions described as a sequence of positions. These preselected motions (and times) were listed in order on a process sheet and then transcribed onto a cardboard template used to pre-set the machine control. The template was placed over a panel of switches on the machine control and indicated which switches had to be thrown to achieve the desired sequence of motions. (The template also constituted a permanent record of the program which could be used to reconfigure the machine identically for future performance of the same operations.) The Transferobot was widely advertised as a reliable, low-cost, off-the-shelf, fully programmable automation device suitable for a broad range of industrial applications. US Industries President John Snyder explained that the TransfeRobot marked "a significant step in the process of liberating the working force of this country from mechanized drudgery" and Shelley estimated that it could displace a minimum of three million workers. The company scheduled their robot's debut for Labor Day, 1959. (Widely publicized also was a joint effort by US Industries and the International Association of Machinists to aid displaced workers; US Industries paid "dues" on each TransfeRobot sold to underwrite a cooperative American Foundation on Automation and Employment, which was devoted to worker retraining.) Several Transferobots were in fact sold to manufacturers of clocks, typewriters, automobiles, and candy but this pioneering venture into industrial robotics was prematurely interrupted when, in 1963, US Industries decided to discontinue its robot business, for financial reasons.

Footnotes: Edwin F. Shelley et al., "Automatic Handling and Assembly Servosystem," U.S. Patent No. 3,007,097 (filed September 1959, issued October 31,1961); US Industries brochures (Robodyne Division); "An Electrically-Programmed Small Parts Handling Device," Automatic Control, February 196o; John Snyder, quoted in Chicago Daily Tribune. September 8,1959; Edwin Shelley quoted in Edwin Darby, "Builds Robot to Man Production Lines," Chicago Sun Times, March 28, 196o, p. 44; telephone interview with Edwin Shelley, November 1983.

Source: Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation, David F. Noble, 2011.


transferobot ad 1962 x640 1959   TransfeRobot   Shelley et al (American)


1954 – Programmed Article Transfer Patent – George C. Devol Jr. (American)

 1954   Programmed Article Transfer Patent   George C. Devol Jr. (American)

Programmed Article Transfer by George C. Devol Jr. See full patent details here.

Patent number: 2988237
Filing date: Dec 10, 1954
Issue date: Jun 13, 1961


engelberger devol unimate 1954   Programmed Article Transfer Patent   George C. Devol Jr. (American)

Joseph Engelberger on the left, George Devol Jr on the right – c1960

[Image credit: The Estate of George C. Devol]

In the patent, Devol wrote, "the present invention makes available for the first time a more or less general purpose machine that has universal application to a vast diversity of applications where cyclic digital control is desired."

Devol's patent for the first digitally operated programmable robotic arm represents the foundation of the modern robotics industry.

At the suggestion of Devol's wife, Evelyn, the word "Unimate" was coined to define the product. 

In 1960, Devol personally sold the first Unimate robot, which was shipped in 1961 from Danbury, Connecticut to General Motors.

See the rest of the story in my later post on "UNIMATE" [TBC].


1950 – General Electric Robotic Manipulator – (American)

PM1950 GE Robot p2 x640 1950   General Electric Robotic Manipulator   (American)

Five-ton robot on wheels sticks out it arm to turn a "hot" valve in Hanford plutonium plant.

One-Armed Robot Tackles Hot Jobs
A ONE-ARMED robot is turning the valves in the giant plant at Hanford, Wash., that makes A-bomb plutonium out of uranium. The new robot looks like a railroad handcar with a small Navy gun on top. It has no fancy name, just the unimaginative title "tool dolly." But it can do practically anything the human arm can do, and it can go where human arms can't go—into areas swarming with invisible, deadly radiation.
Operated either remotely or from the dolly itself, the robot can move around on its track; raise, lower, or extend its arm (the "gun"); and grab, twist, or bend with its claw hand. The dolly easily takes apart machinery—and puts it back together again —opens and closes doors, and works with all kinds of tools. Engineers of the General Electric Co., which runs Hanford for the Atomic Energy Commission, developed it.

Source: Popular Science, Aug 1950

PM1950 GE Robot p1 x640 1950   General Electric Robotic Manipulator   (American)

Not a Programmable robot, but a manipulator.


1892 – Crane – Seward Babbitt (American)

 1892   Crane   Seward Babbitt (American)

CRANE by SEWARD S. BABBITT. See full patent details here.

Patent number: 484870
Filing date: Jun 13, 1892
Issue date: Oct 25, 1892


Seward Babbitt's crane first mentioned around 1980 in terms of robotics history and timelines in textbooks, but in terms of enabling technology only, rather than being identified as a robot in itself.  That distinction is getting lost in modern references to this invention.  Its included in my timeline only to highlight that it is not a robot.  It shares characteristics of manipulator arms only.

The first mentioned of Babbitt's invention in terms of robotics that I can find is from The Journal of Epsilon Pi Tau – Volumes 6-10 – Page 98
"In 1892, Seward Babbitt of Pittsburgh patented a rotary crane with a motorized gripper for removing hot ingots from furnaces. "