1963 – “MRMU” Mobile Remote Manipulator Unit – FMC Corp. (American)

mrmu fmc x640 1963   MRMU Mobile Remote Manipulator Unit   FMC Corp. (American)

1963 – "MRMU" Mobile Remote Manipulating1 Unit – FMC Corp.

MOBILE REMOTE MANIPULATOR1 UNIT

It is recommended that the Mobile Remote Manipulator Unit (MRMU) be selected for study in Phase I as the basic recovery system. This unit, as developed by the FMC Corporation for the Research and Technology Division, Air Force Weapons Laboratory, New Mexico, has been thoroughly tested and evaluated, and can be made operational. Coupled with additional specialized tools, devices, and casks, the MRMU can perform the major portion of the recovery tasks that can be described at present.
The main design feature of this system is that the basic manipulator and its carrier can be standing by close to the launch pad while the emergency system operators are located in a central van somewhere close to the LCC. The system was conceived to provide a safe environment in which the operators can perform the necessary control and operation tasks in order to conduct recovery and salvage operations involving a hazardous environment. The prime design requirement for this system is the removal of a radioactive source from the wreckage resulting from a major conflagration. The performance of such tasks requires rugged manipulators, a means of transporting the manipulators, a remote viewing system, and an operator's remote control system.
The MRMU manipulators can be extended to a radius of 19 ft from the shoulder. This permits the hand to work 25 ft above or 8 ft below ground level. Maximum capacity is 600 lb in any direction. The jaw can grip a 5-in. object with a force of 2,500 lb.
The mechanics of the manipulator permits changes in radius, elevation, and azimuth and allows pitching, yawing, and rotation of the hand about the wrist. Shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints are mechanically programmed so that a change in radius is a primary motion rather than the result of individual joint movements.
A joystick is used to control each manipulator. When the operator moves the joystick, the manipulator hand moves correspondingly. Displacement of the joystick from its neutral position generates velocity commands. The available range of velocities is sufficient to satisfy operational requirements. Thumb-operated push buttons control the hand extension and the jaw.
Vehicle control is performed by another joystick. Motion of the joystick away from the operator controls vehicle speed; motion toward the operator controls the brakes; and motion to the right or left steers the vehicle. Push buttons operate the transmission, lights, etc.
The MRMU carrier, an XM474E2 type previously developed as a carrier for the Pershing Missile System, is used for transporting the MRMU manipulator arms. The vehicle is capable of fording streams, of extended cross-country travel over rough terrain, and of high-speed travel over improved roads and highways. The nature of the vehicle's carrying space allows it to be adapted to a variety of transportation requirements. It is a member of the airborne multipurpose vehicle family developed by the FMC Corporation.
Principal suspension and power-train components are identical to those of the M113 armored personnel carrier (the basic vehicle in the airborne multipurpose vehicle family). The normal XM474E2 control system was modified for remote operation in its use in the MRMU system.

TELEVISION SYSTEM

As the MRMU is operated remotely, a four-channel television system provides the operator with the information needed to control the MRMU. Four cameras are mounted on a pan/tilt platform which is attached to a boom that can be elevated and rotated.
Two cameras are used to produce a three-dimensional view of the forward field of vision. The two pictures are merged at the control console to provide the operator with depth perception. The remaining cameras provide a view of the peripheral field.

Note:  Different references have different spellings, either "Manipulator" or "Manipulating". Which is correct?

mrmu pic x640 1963   MRMU Mobile Remote Manipulator Unit   FMC Corp. (American)

Mobile Remote Manipulator Unit (MRMU), built for the U.S. Air Force, consists of a remotely controlled tracked vehicle on which are mounted two manipulator arms. The remote control station is a van which may be located up to a mile away. The vehicle permits an operator in a safe environment to accomplish recovery and salvage operations in a hazardous environment. Control signals are multiplexed and transmitted over an FM modulated microwave link. Feedback and visual, through the use of four TV cameras arranged to give a three-dimensional display to the operator for depth perception. The TV signals are transmitted from the manipulator to the control van via an FM modulated microwave link. See Fig 16-13 above.

Electrical actuators (motors, solenoids, linear actuators) up to 1 hp are controlled by the MRMU servo system. Those actuators associated with the manipulators are the final power elements, with those associated with vehicle control are pilot devices for the mechanical traction and steering systems.


nasa fmc manip carrier pm feb94 x640 1963   MRMU Mobile Remote Manipulator Unit   FMC Corp. (American)

In 1994, Popular Mechanics (February issue) published an article of a study into a similar concept to the MRMU, again by FMC Corp. and NASA Ames research Center.


See other early Teleoperators and Industrial Robots here.


1961 – “Little Ranger” Mobile Remote Manipulator – General Mills (American)

Little Ranger remote manipulator 3 x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

"The Little Ranger," a mobile remote handler, extends man's reach and dexterity into radioactive, explosive or other danger zones "off limits" to humans. Monitored by TV or viewed through a shielding window, "The Little Ranger" can manipulate 50 lb. loads, reach up to 8 feet, tow an 850-pound weight, and turn on its axis. The platform 1 m square which carries a single arm and two cameras in a stereo arrangement, on a central column is mounted on a tracked vehicle and is connected to the human control station by a cable, which has the effect of limiting the permissable movement of the vehicle.

Little Ranger remote manipulator 2 x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

Little Ranger specs x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

Whilst looking like a mock-up, the "Little Ranger" was real and on the market in 1961 from General Mills – yes, the American breakfast food and cereal company, built materials handling equipment. Their success and novel designs led them to build remote-handling manipulators for the then new nuclear industry. Some senior engineers spun off this division to become Programmed and Remote Systems (PaR Systems). Their success and expertise was such that they were invited to propose space manipulators.

little ranger x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

Above: Image from article that appeared in Science and Mechanics magazine, February 1963. Below: Cover of same magazine issue showing artist's conception of "Little Ranger" transformed into "Huge Ranger" with a pair of arms rather than just one.

SCIENCE AND MECHANICS 2 63 x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)


PaR remote mobile manipulator 2 x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

PaR remote mobile manipulator 4 x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

Above: (a)

PaR remote mobile manipulator 3 x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)


PaR was a subsiduary of GCA when the model below came out.

PaR 1 x640 1961   Little Ranger Mobile Remote Manipulator   General Mills (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. The PaR-1 has been used in nuclear emergencies.

See separate post on PaR-1 a.k.a. "Herman" here.


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

See other early Teleoperators here.


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.

Goertz M3 remote x640 1958 – Mobile Remote Servo manipulator   Ray Goertz et al (American)

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.