Posts Tagged ‘1954’

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.


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.


1954 – “Homko” Robot Remote-controlled Lawnmower – (American)

homko remote mower 1954   Homko Robot Remote controlled Lawnmower   (American)

homko remote mower x220 1954   Homko Robot Remote controlled Lawnmower   (American)

homko robot lawnmower 1953 press 1 x640 1954   Homko Robot Remote controlled Lawnmower   (American)

Want to lie in your hammock and mow the lawn in repose? The Homko Robot mower can be maneuvered by a remote control panel, one lever for forward, stop and reverse, and another for right and left. Since the cord that attaches this brain to the mower is 40 feet long, you can mow 40 feet in any direction without getting up. You get exercise just the same—mental-from trying to keep the thing from cutting its own cord.
Text Source: Kiplinger's Personal Finance, April 1954.


See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.


 

1954 – Radio-controlled Lawnmower – William M. Brobeck (American)

Brobeck Auto Lawn Mower 1954 x640 1954   Radio controlled Lawnmower   William M. Brobeck (American)

William "Bill" M. Brobeck  joined the UC Berkeley lab in 1937 and moved several years later to Orinda with his late wife, Jane Knox.
Their home became a local landmark in the mid-1950s, after Mr. Brobeck used his engineering talents to build an automatic lawn mower.
Neighborhood kids would gather outside the couple's backyard to watch the lawn mower effortlessly trim two large patches of grass. Mr. Brobeck had buried wires beneath the lawn that guided the automatic mower.
After leaving the Berkeley lab in 1957, Mr. Brobeck formed his own engineering company, Brobeck & Associates, and later founded the Cyclotron Corp. in 1965. The Cyclotron Corp. helped create practical uses for cyclotrons in cancer treatment and other medical uses.
He retired in 1988, holding 22 patents and an honorary degree from UC Berkeley.
Mr. Brobeck is survived by his wife, Gloria Brown Brobeck of Orinda; a son, Bill Brobeck of Moraga; two daughters, Kathy Brobeck of Massachusetts and Betts Coury of Oregon; and two grandchildren.


brobeck 1954 lawnmower x549 1954   Radio controlled Lawnmower   William M. Brobeck (American)

Brobeck's professional interests and bursting ingenuity extended way beyond the field of accelerator design. In 1972, for instance, he was hired by the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop pollution-free vehicles. Even in his retirement years Brobeck continued to design gadgets that made him as famous in his neighborhood as accelerators did in the world of science. Among them: an automated lawn mower that could start up by itself, head out onto the lawn and mow it before going back, turning itself off and recharging its battery. He also invented an automatic record changer and a car that ran on both gas and electricity.


The May 1955 issue of Popular Mechanics (p155)  featured William Brobeck's lawn mower.

brobeck mower popmech may55 x640 1954   Radio controlled Lawnmower   William M. Brobeck (American)

Self-Guided Mower Follows Electrical Cord Laid in Lawn
Electrical cord laid in the lawn guides an automatic lawn mower built by William Brobeck of Orinda, Calif. Separate motors supplied by another cord attached to a reel on the mower drive the two wheels. Each motor is connected to a coil that picks up the induced current from the electric cord. The coils, wound in opposite directions, cancel each other out if the mower exactly straddles the electric cord. If the mower goes off to one side, one of the motors is checked long enough to bring the machine back into line. The mower, which will cut an entire lawn without attention, cuts alternate swaths as it moves in toward the center of the lawn and mows the remaining portions on its return trip. Additional coils, an audio amplifier, a transformer, sensitive switches and relays are used in the system.
 


Bill's son William I. Brobeck has followed in his father's footstep by designing and patenting an automatic tennis court drying machine:

US 7454846 B2

Publication number US7454846 B2
Publication date Nov 25, 2008
Filing date Apr 10, 2007
Priority date Apr 11, 2006

Abstract

An apparatus and method for automatically drying a tennis court or other flat surface after rainfall is provided. A robotic vehicle cooperates with a sensing unit preferably mounted on a fence adjacent the court or other paved surface. A sensing unit detects the onset and cessation of rain and then waits a predetermined amount of time. After waiting, the sensing unit transmits a signal to the robotic vehicle which actuates the vehicle. The robotic vehicle includes an on-board controller which is internally programmed with a map of the court including obstructions. The robotic vehicle automatically sponge rolls the entire court. A thermal imaging camera connected to the sensing unit then scans the court to determine if any wet spots remain. The location of any remaining wet spots is recorded and transmitted to the on-board controller of the robotic vehicle. The robotic vehicle then returns to the location of the wet spots and automatically sponge rolls and fan dries those remaining wet spots. The robotic vehicle then returns to a storage unit on or adjacent the paved surface where it is recharged and waits for further use.

 1954   Radio controlled Lawnmower   William M. Brobeck (American)


See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.


 

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].