Archive for the ‘Teleoperators’ Category

1976 – MF3 Manipulator Vehicle – Köhler (German)

MF3 mobile robot configs x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

MF3
Blocher-Motor GmbH & Co. KG, Metzingen, West Germany CMS Technologies, Inc., Ft. Lee, N.J., U.S. Distributor
This device is a remotely controlled, tethered 4-tracked vehicle which is used in the nuclear industry and other hazardous environments. It was initially conceived and developed at the KFA Julich Research Laboratory in West Germany. Its single, light-duty, electric-powered manipulator arm can lift up to 20 kg (44 lb); the heavy-duty arm can lift up to 80 kg (176 lb). Both arms have 6 axes of movement and possess infinitely rotating long openings. Optional 7-axes electric lightweight master-slave arms (single or dual) which can perform extremely delicate operations by means of power feedback can carry 12 kg (26 lb) In a sustained operation or up to 24 kg (53 lb) in a temporary capacity. The MF3 is remote controlled from a portable control desk located up to 100 m (328 ft) from the 408-kg (900 lb) device. The MF3 dimensions are: 2264 x 720 x 400mm (1 x w x h) (89.1 x 28.3 x 15.7 in.); with track adjustment, the length and height are, respectively, 940 and 1080 mm (37.0 and 42.5 in.). It can climb stairs with a gradient of up to 45 degrees, turn on a 1200 mm (47.2 in.) radius, and can surmount 600 mm (23.6 in.) high obstacles, and traverse 1 m (3 ft) wide chasms (gaps). Its maximum speed is 30 m/min (99 ft/min), optional accessories are video cameras, TV monitor at the control desk, headlights, noise transmission system, X-ray unit with mounting arm, and alternate grippers. Power (220V, 50 Hz) and communications are made through an umbilical cord (cable). On-board electrical tools are powered through on-board sockets. An alternate model can operate with four on-board 12V batteries.

MF3 mobile robot x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

A mobile base with optional manipulator arms. The EMSM 2 arms by the same developers are shown above.

MF3 robot cms x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

mf3 x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

MF 3 x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

MF3E mobile vehicle x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

mf3 emsm2 Copy x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

MF3 KHG 1 x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)

Above and below – Current MF3 offerings by KHG.

mf3 khg 2 x640 1976   MF3 Manipulator Vehicle   Köhler (German)


See other early Teleoperators and Industrial Robots here.


1966 – “Herman” Mobile Remote Manipulator – PaR Systems (American)

PaR 1 x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

The PaR-1 mobile manipulator. The vehicle and manipulator are powered and controlled by cable. The manipulator arm and the two TV cameras are mounted on articulated booms. The height of the central support tube is 68 inches. PaR was a subsiduary of GCA when this model came out.

PaR mobile robot 0007 x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

PaR-1 with its remote operating console. It is cable-connected.

PaR mobile robot 0004 x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

robot herman 6 x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

"Herman" Mobile Remote Manipulator

robot herman 22 x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

Nuclear Radiation Can't Scare Robot – Source:The Cornell Daily Sun, Volume 95, Number 122, 6 April 1979

Middletown , Pa . AP If the time comes to walk into a room hot with lethal doses of radiation at Three Mile Island, the first one in will be Herman — and he won't have a choice.
Herman is a robot.
As a nuclear life-saver , he has worked wonders.  But as a robot, the 13-year old mechanical marvel probably would be a vast disappointment to science fiction fans weaned on R2D2.
Herman is mainly a large motorized box. He (she? it?) is 5 feet long, 6 feet tall and mounted on tank-like treads. He has one long arm and two strong fingers.
The robot's range extends to 400 feet, a limit set by his umbilical cord, a power control cable.
Harold Denton , operations chief for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told reporters Wednesday: "We haven't used Herman the Robot yet, but we hope to use him to take samples in high radiation areas and avoid unnecessary exposures of radiation to people."
Herman was created in 1966 when a fire at the government's Savannah River uraniun enrichment plant in South Carolina showed the need for remote-control, mobile equipment that was radiation resistant.
Two television cameras give Herman his sight . He can switch from performing delicate manuevers to lifting 160-pound loads or dragging 500 pounds , said James Alexander, an official of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where Herman is usually kept in the "Y-12 weapons  plant."
"Herman has a very delicate touch. He can do many things as you can do with your two fingers," Alexander said. "He can turn valves. He can pick up very small objects … He can take a bucket in behind him, put it on the ground, reach over, pick up something, put it in bucket, the take the bucket, put it somewhere else."
This would be Herman's first tour of duty at a commercial nuclear power plant but he has shown his worth before in dealing with nuclear incidents.
A few years ago, Herman freed a container of radioactive Cobalt 60 that had gotten stuck in a pneumatic transfer tube in a lab at the University of Rochester.
Another time, Herman crawled into a physics lab at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., to retrieve a radioactive source that had gotten loose. Using his single arm, he placed the source back into its protective container.

robot herman x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

At the time [1984], with the Department of Energy's okay, the robot and operators are dispatched to the troubled site. Union Carbide receives what it terms a "full recovery" fee—money that covers the salaries of the robot's personnel, transportation, lodgings, and meals. Union Carbide does not sell the Y-12 plant mobile manipulator, as Herman is known. It paid $63,010 when it bought the robot several years ago. Vehicles like Herman could still be bought from Programs and Remote Systems Corporation.

robot herman 79 1 x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

robot herman 79 2 x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

Y-12's Herman still on standby

 Four Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant men who operate the plant's mobile manipulator or robot, nicknamed "Herman," have returned home after a week of standby duty at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, subject to 24-hour recall. The robot remains at Three Mile Island.
 Robert W. Frazier, team leader, William Pankratz, Thomas E. Copeland and Richard Turner, all of Y-12 Maintenance Division, were summoned to the power plant site March 30 to operate the robot if its services were needed during the emergency. The manipulator system was transported to Pennsylvania in its travel van, driven by Department of Energy personnel.

 One mission considered for the robot was that it enter a room which has a high radiation level and take samples of the primary coolant water for chemical and radiological analysis. During their week's stay at the power plant, the crew members rehearsed this mission, which would have involved about 35 separate operations and would have required 8 to 10 hours to complete.
     Press interest
 At week's end, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials at the scene informed the Y-12 team that the operation had been postponed and that team members could return home, subject to possible recall at a later time. The manipulator system was reloaded into the travel van, but is being retained at the power plant site.
 The robot apparently captured the imagination of news reporters covering the story. Wire services and newspapers across the nation requested file photographs of the maniuplator system, and all three national television networks requested file videotape scenes of the system in action (made in a Y-12 documentary video program in 1977). The robot provided the lead story for the "CBS Evening News" program on April 4 [1979].        
The manipulator system, built to Nuclear Division design specifications by a commercial vendor [PaR Systems] in 1966, consists of the mobile manipulator, its control console and a workroom-laboratory. The manipulator is designed to operate at distances up to 700 feet from the control console, to which it is attached by a cable. The manipulator is about five feet long, six feet high and about two and one-half feet wide. It has a mechanical hand capable of lifting 160 pounds and dragging 500 pounds. Two television cameras mounted behind the arm transmit pictures to monitors on the control console.
  The manipulator system was obtained by Y-12 as a safety support
backup in operations involving the handling of toxic or radioactive materials in the plant. It has been used outside Oak Ridge on two previous occasions to recover radioactive sources: at the University of Rochester in 1975 and the University of the South at Sewanee in 1976.

Source: Nuclear Division News [Union Carbide] April 19, 1979.

alshade record 1979 herman robot tmi x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

Record cover made soon after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.


PaR is still in business and this is their current single-arm remote mobile manipulator.

Mobile Manipulator PaR x640 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)

par mobile new 1966   Herman Mobile Remote Manipulator   PaR Systems (American)


See also post titled "1960 – Space Manipulators – General Mills" for description on General Mill's approach to manipulator design concepts.

See other early Teleoperators here.


1960 – “Minotaur” Remote Manipulator – General Mills (American)

Mosher Industrial Manipulators x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

 The Los Alamos Minotaur—presumably so called because of its bull-like strength and man-like arms—is an exception to the statement that electrical unilateral manipulator arms are used singly (fig. 108 below). A pair of manipulator arms plus a second pair of adjustable arms holding lights and TV cameras protrude from a sphere-like turret supported from above by a bridge-crane carriage. The Minotaur was originally built to Los Alamos specification by General Mills, Inc. A representative application is the maintenance of radioactive equipment in the shielded bay containing the Los Alamos UHTREX (Ultra High Temperature Reactor Experiment).

 The Minotaur now incorporates PaR Model 3500 with a capacity of 50 pounds in any configuration. The hand grip is adjustable between 0 and 75 pounds. Minotaur's overhead access to the working area by means of a telescoping support tube and the bridge-crane carriage is almost mandatory in the UHTREX application because the working area is a maze of large and small components, pipes, and many electrical conduits. Without an overhead mobile teleoperator with TV cameras, much of the work space would be inaccessible for months.

GenMills Minotaur x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur 1 illustration x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur hot 1 x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur hot 2 x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur in reactor x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

The Minotaur is presumably so called because of its bull-like strength, man-like arms and because the working area is a maze of large and small components, pipes, and many electrical conduits.


minotaur 1 concept x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

To provide a higher degree of assurance that maintenance functions can be performed, a remote maintenance machine is required, having a capability of working within the highest radiation fields expected during shutdown. The proposed device, called "Minotaur I," is illustrated in Fig. 7, and will be suspended from an overhead bridge crane on a telescoping vertical column. The machine will be equipped with TV viewing cameras and two mechanical arms, equivalent to the General Mills Model 150 manipulator.


GenMills m150 pic x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

GenMills m150 specsc x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

GenMills m150 specsa x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

The Minotaur originally had General Mills Model 150 manipulator arms. The specifications can be seen above. For UHTREX (Ultra High Temperature Reactor Experiment), the Minotaur upgraded to PaR Model 3500 arms. [PaR for Programmed and Remote Systems, was the spin-off of the manipulator arms division of General Mills.]


See other early Teleoperators here.


1970-2 – “Virgule” Remote-Controlled Manipulator – Jean Vertut (French)

Vertut ma22 1 x640 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

1970-2 – "Virgule" Remote-Controlled Manipulator.

Vertut ma22 2 x640 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

Virgule being demonstrated at an exhibition.

Vertut ma22 3 x640 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

The MA22 arm (slave unit shown) was very innovative at the time. The motors counterbalance the rest of the arm. It was replaced in 1975 by the MA23 which is still highly successful today.

virgule vertut ma22 x640 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

virgule teleoperator x640 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

The Virgule was an interesting machine. It had (1) four self-contained propulation and steering wheels with special tread-pattern for stair-climbing. (2) Extended front wheel (both extend to give stability). (3) Retractable from wheel (both retract to allow passage through a narrow door). The MA-22 manipulator arms (5) use a cable and ribbon design. There is feedback between the master and slave.

virgule vertut x640 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

virgule cea 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

MA 23 manip 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

New MA 23 master-slave manipulators with servo control and force feedback. Their application in routine work and in scheduled and exceptional operations. The MA 22 system, based on the Virgule device, led to the development of a new technology which combines high reliability with excellent performance, very small electronics and high-torque d.c. motors. The second generation, MA 23, is characterized by a substantially improved mechanism, enabling maximum advantage to be derived from the servo control and making it possible to reproduce, at unlimited distance and with very high slave strength, the dexterity displaced by light master-slave manipulators on the operator side. The authors describe the equipment and indicate the various possibilites for its use in facilities. Long-term development and testing is also being directed towards under-water operation and industrial automatic manipulation. (Source)

jean vertut x443 1970 2   Virgule Remote Controlled Manipulator   Jean Vertut (French)

 Jean Vertut (1929-1985)


See other early Teleoperators and Industrial Robots here.


1974 – Remote-Controlled Manipulator Vehicle – KHG (German)

robot tank khg 0002 x640 1974   Remote Controlled Manipulator Vehicle   KHG (German)

Looking like a military gravedigger or an agricultural battle tank, the KHG Remote-Controlled Manipulator Vehicle was an early West German response to the problems of maintenance and repair in nuclear installations.

khg remote manipulator press x640 1974   Remote Controlled Manipulator Vehicle   KHG (German)
The Robot That'll Do Anything

A new remote controlled robot has been developed in Germany able to do most any job or cope with any situation. It is called the KGH remote controlled Manipulator Vehicle and has a very impressive array of tools and instruments at its disposal. As well as being equipped with TV cameras and various cutting, drilling, welding, and sawing devices the robot can also collect specimens and measure things. It appraises damage, carries out salvage operations and also mounts and secures things. It can operate in radioactive contaminated areas or areas of high infection, then transmit its findings by means of TV transmitter. In short this all purpose robot, operated remotely or by hand in the control cockpit, is capable of most things and could be of great use in disasters or tasks where danger is high for human beings.
KHG r c manipulator x640 1974   Remote Controlled Manipulator Vehicle   KHG (German)

In this image, the vehicle is called the MF2 made by KFK in Germany [?].


See other early Teleoperators and Industrial Robots here.