Posts Tagged ‘1960’

1960 – SLOMAR Space Tug – The Martin Company (American)

1970EaglehasLanded storyoflunar16 x640 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

slomar shuttle and tug x640 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

spacePod13 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

spacePod19 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

space Pod martin 2 man 1961 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)


Above: The 2-man Space Tug

Extra Images sourced from here.

Cancelled Projects: SLOMAR
By Jos Heyman
(with some help from the correspondents of the Secretprojects forum)
In 1959 the US Air Force started the Space Logistics, Operations, Maintenance and Rescue (SLOMAR) study to generate preliminary designs of crewed space vehicles that could support manned military space stations.
SLOMAR was one of ten studies that were part of the USAF’s ‘Space Development Planning Study’ that also included studies covering, amongst others, satellite interception, global surveillance, strategic orbital systems (bombardment satellites), lunar operations, and recoverable orbital launch systems.
In November 1959 a Request for Proposals was issued and ten contractors responded. Of these only Lockheed, General Dynamics, Douglas, Martin and Norair (Northrop) received further funding in June 1960 to the sum of $ 120,000 each. This was to cover studies up to June 1961. It was soon obvious to the contractors that the funding was insufficient to study all areas concerned and each contractor emphasized some aspects only.

Martin suggested a lifting body vehicle with a span of 6.65 m and length of 9.40 m with room for a crew of five.

In spite of not receiving funding, McDonnell suggested its model 15 (?) whereas Bell studies its program 7069, whereas it has been suggested that North American also conducted privately funded SLOMAR studies.
Absent from this all was Boeing but that company was already involved in the development of the X-20 Dyna Soar spacecraft.
The contractors’ submission were evaluated and led to the conclusion that it was possible to have an operational system in use by 1968 for support to orbits up to 925 km and that more than one satellite at a time had to be supported during a mission to make the system cost effective (except for the space station). Furthermore it was clear that guidance of the vehicle was to be self contained and that the total capacity of the vehicles, crew plus passenger, was to be six.
These conclusions were passed on to the Lunar Expedition Project (LUNEX), a secret USAF proposal to put a man on the Moon by 1967 and that would employ a lifting body re-entry vehicle for a crew of three. These efforts were suspended when John Kennedy ordered NASA in May 1961 to get a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Above SLOMAR text sourced from here.

See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.

1959-61 – Concept O-9 Manned Utility Tug – (American)

 1959 61   Concept O 9 Manned Utility Tug   (American)

Concept O-9: Rendezvous by Manned Utility Tug

From a report compiled between 1959-61 and presented in 1961 are various concepts {Suffixed by 'O' for Orbital Rendezvous). This extract only selects those concepts that have a manipulator component.

Nelson T. Levings, Jr.
Cleveland Pneumatic Industries, Inc.
May 1961
Flight Dynamics Laboratory
Contract No. AF33(616)-6572
Project No. 1369
Task No. 13529
Wright Air Development Division
Air Research and Development Command
United States Air Force
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

The work described in this report was accomplished by the Instrumentation and Control Division of Cleveland Pneumatic Industries, Inc., under Contract No. AF 33(616)-6572, Project No. 1369, entitled, "Launching and Alightment Systems for Aero-Space Vehicles, Task No. 13529.
This project was administered under the direction of the Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Directorate of Advanced Systems Technology, Wright Air Development Division [WADD], with Mr. Wallace Buzzard as Military Project Engineer, having superseded Lt. Don Austin in January 1960.
This report covers work conducted from June 1959 to January 1961.
Mr. Nelson T. Levings, Jr., was Contractor Project Engineer, assisted by specialized engineering personnel from each Division of Cleveland Pneumatic Industries, Inc.



30 Concept O-1: Attachment by Tail Hook Snag 62
31 Concept O-2: Attachment by Self-Guiding Probe Through Hoop 63
32 Concepts O-3 and O-4: Shock Mitigation between Two (2) Axially Aligned Vehicles 64
33 Arresting Gear for Storing Impact Energy for Subsequent Ejection Departure – Concepts 0-3 and 0-4 65
34 Concept O-5- Remotely Controlled Magnetic Contactor on Freely Swinging Cable 66

concept o 6 unmanned utility tug x640 1959 61   Concept O 9 Manned Utility Tug   (American)

35 Concept O-6: Rendezvous by Utility Tug – Remotely Controlled 67
36 Concept O-7: Attachment by Mechanical Grappling Hook – Close Range 68
37 Thrust Compensator and Line Control for Concept 0-7 69
38 Concept O-8: Orbital Attachment by Self-Guiding Probe 70
39 Concept O-9: Rendezvous by Manned Utility Tug {See top for illustration] 71
40 Concept O-10: Rendezvous by Simple, Remotely Controlled Tug 72
41 Concept O-11: Long Range Attachment by Probe and Drogue – Heat or Light Sensitive 73
42 Latch Coupling for Concept 0-11 74
43 Mechanical Magnetic Ring Coupling for Concept 0-11 75
44 Concept O-12: Rendezvous of Axially Aligned Vehicles by Penetration 76
45 Concept O-13: Rendezvous by Surface Contact 77

concept o 13 space suit attachment x640 1959 61   Concept O 9 Manned Utility Tug   (American)
46 Concept O-14: Rendezvous in Matched Orbits by Man in Environmental Suit 78

 1959 61   Concept O 9 Manned Utility Tug   (American)
47 Concept O-15: Attachment by Mechanical Parallelogram Grappler 79

 1959 61   Concept O 9 Manned Utility Tug   (American)
48 Concept O-16: Attachment by Gas Actuated Parallelogram Grappler 80

Work during this phase of the project was faced with many unknowns. Initially, a cursory study was made in the area of orbital mechanics to determine what precision was required from thrust control during orbital rendezvous and if there might be a mass trade-off between shock mitigation and thrust control equipment. Again, airframe manufacturers and other agencies contributed to this effort.
The findings are summarized below:
a. The planes of the orbits of the target and intercept vehicles must be within minutes of arc.
b. The orbits must be matched in shape, size, and orientation within minutes of arc and, at time and point of rendezvous, the vehicles come together within close proximity.
c. The vehicles must be closely "in phase'" to affect rendezvous.
d. The vehicles, in the case of earth orbit rendezvous, should avoid lengthy exposure to the lower Van Allen radiation belt.
e. To make a rendezvous possible, corrective vernier rockets will have to operate within extremely precise limitations of thrust and cut-off times to bring relative velocity within acceptable limits.
f.* It was determined that, if each vehicle's velocity vector does not intercept the other's center of gravity on rendezvous, there may be a tumbling problem after contact.
To hold the mass of the shock mitigation equipment to an acceptable percentage of total mass, relative velocities were not to be considered over 35 ft/sec.
Parameters forming the framework for orbital attachment concepts include the same values applied ia-paragraph 2. 1; therefore:
a. 4 "earth" g's max. safe deceleration.
b. 1.5 safety factor applied to deceleration.
c. Vehicle gross weight approximately 20 tons (earth weight).
In this area, many concepts were submitted. However, since the problem of return to earth and landing are under detailed study in the Air Force as a portion of the Dyna-Soar development, no attempt was made to list a framework for concept formulation concerned with earth maneuvers.
* Any gravitational attraction between two bodies can be discounted with regard to bringing or holding them together. Eg: it takes only 2 (10)-5 radians/sec. rotation about a common C.G. to make two bodies of 100 tons each (whose C.G. 's are 100 feet apart)to balance the gravitational force holding them together.
As the project progressed, the concepts submitted were categorized as to earth allghtment or departure, (labeled E-1, E-2, etc.), orbital attachment (0-1. 0-2, etc.), and lunar alightment or departure (L-l, L-2, etc.). They were sub-categorized as logically as possible, as to their nature — mechanical, electro-mechanical, multi-strut, etc.
The appendix shows the concepts submitted in pictorial form. They are separated into the three major categories shown above. Class I illustrates earth alightment and departure, Class II orbital rendezvous, and Class III lunar alightment and departure.
The sixteen (16) [only 6  Orbitals] most promising concepts as selected by WADD, are listed below:
Class I – Earth Concepts
Class II – Orbital
3. O-1 Attachment by tail-hook snag.
4. O-2 Attachment by self-guiding probe through hoop.
5. O-7 Attachment by mechanical grappling hook — close range,
6. O-8 Orbital attachment by self-guiding probe,
7. O-11 Long-range attachment by probe and drogue — heat or light sensitive,
8. O-15 Attachment by mechanical parallelogram grappler. [This is the only illustrated concept shown here that made it through.]

Class III – Lunar Concepts
NOTE: The 34 concepts eliminated from further study by WADD were rejected on the basis of (a) insufficient anticipated reliability, (b) lack of
confidence In state-of-the-art advances in that area and, (c) in the case of bags, balloons, and parachutes, cognizance by other WADD Laboratories.

Contributing Agencies:

1. Brunswick Corporation, Muskegon, Michigan
2. Cleveland Pneumatic Industries, Inc., All Divisions
3. Convair Astronautics Division, General Dynamics Corporation,San Diego, California
4. E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware
5. General Electric Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Akron, Ohio
7. Human Sciences Research, Incorporated, Arlington, Virginia
8. International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, South Bend, Indiana
9. Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Pasadena, California
10. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Los Angeles, California
11. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Sunnyvale, California
12. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D. C.
13. North American Aviation Corporation Missile Division, Downey, California
[No 14 in document]
15. North American Aviation Corporation, Los Angeles, California
16. Republic Aviation Corporation, Farmingdale L.I., New York
17. Wright Air Development Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
18. Dr. Waldo Kliever, Instrumentation Physicist, Cleveland, Ohio
19. Dr. Fred S. Singer, Radiation Physicist, University of Maryland

Document sourced from here.

See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.

1960 – “REMORA” Manned Space Manipulator – Bell Aerosystems (American)

bell remora manipulator x640 1960   REMORA Manned Space Manipulator    Bell Aerosystems (American)

Preliminary Design Concepts
•    Bell Aerosystems Remora Capsule

 1960   REMORA Manned Space Manipulator    Bell Aerosystems (American)
The REMORA configuration (Figure 5-15) is a small, buoy-shaped capsule 6-feet high, 3-feet in diameter, and weighing 540 pounds (leaded). This concept, proposed shout 1960, permits one astronaut to function in space while protected from the space environment. The capsule is tethered by a cable that provides power and retrieval, if necessary, and allows a maneuvering radius of 1,000 feet. A tinted dome provides access to the capsule and allows 360deg visibility. The capsule is oriented by reaction jets and has an operating time of 4 hours (a function of its life support system).

Bell Remora 1960 1 x640 1960   REMORA Manned Space Manipulator    Bell Aerosystems (American)

In the vacuum of outer space, Bell's Remora capsule could enable men to assemble, inspect, service and maintain satellites and space stations or shuttle men between space vehicles protected from the hazards of meteorites and radiation.
Taking its name from the fish which attaches itself to sharks, Remora is equipped with mechanical grappling arms by which it can attach itself to space stations and satellites. Inside the capsule the spaceman will have freedom to manipulate the arms to engage in assembly and maintenance activities.

 1960   REMORA Manned Space Manipulator    Bell Aerosystems (American)

Source: Space Research: Directions for the Future, Part 1.

Nonanthropomorphic maneuvering units.
As early as 1960, Bell Aircraft Corporation proposed the REMORA system, which combines direct and remote manipulation. The REMORA concept (see above) appears to offer several advantages. First, if necessary, it could be shielded to protect the extravehicular worker in zones of high radiation. Second, a variety of arms may be used, each designed to serve a special type of operation. For example, one pair of arms might be of the gauntlet type for use on jobs requiring delicate manipulation. One arm might hold and provide power for tools such as drills; other arms might simply hold the work, leaving the operator's gauntleted hands free for productive work. (Industrial engineers tell us that the "hold" operation is probably the greatest source of inefficiency in assembly and maintenance operations.) The possibilities are almost infinite. Third, REMORA is pressurized, requiring the operator to inflate his suit only in emergencies. This feature would greatly reduce fatigue and extend useful time of work.

See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.

1960 – “Homobile” Lunar Rover – Hugo Gernsback (American)

 1960   Homobile Lunar Rover   Hugo Gernsback (American)

In 1960, the indefatigable Gernsback came out with another lunar rover design. He called it the "Homobile." It had a pressurized cabin mounted on tracks and powered by electricity from fuel cells, with a leg-powered generator as an alternate source of energy. The cabin also had a pair of manipulator arms.

Source:Originally from "1961 Forecast", 1960 pp8-11 by Hugo Gernsback.

See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar Robots here.

1958-62 – “VERSATRAN” Industrial Robot – Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

versatran AMF bw x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

In 1958, the American Machine and Foundry (AMF) Thermatool Corporation (later known as AMF Corporation, later acquired by Prab Company of Michigan)  initiated an R&D project for a Versatile Transfer Machine, or VERSATRAN, a programmable cylindrical coordinate frame robotic arm designed by Harry Johnson and Veljko Milenkovic. AMF introduced Model 102, a continuous-path transfer device, and Model 212, a point-to-point transfer device, in 1962. 


 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

3243.02 | AUTOMATIC HANDLING EQUIPMENT CALLED 'VERSATRAN'. (1:02:10:00 – 1:05:52:00) 1967
Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Date found in the old record – 23/02/1967.

Various shots of the 'Versatran' – an artificial arm and a hand construction grab which is controlled from large panels. Developed in the USA by American Machine & Foundry Company. The grab is seen picking up a large bobbin and placing it in a box. The control panel can be programmed in advance so the grab can be operated in advance. Demonstration by Mr D C Hall.

versatran point to point x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

versatran continuous path x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

It was only in 1967 that the Tokyo Machinery Trading Co. in  Japan imports and sells the first industrial robot, a Versatran from AMF, Inc.  Britain aquires its first Industrial Robot, a Versatran, in 1967, by Douglas Hall, as seen in the video clip above.  

RISE OF THE ROBOTS by George Sullivan 1971

A second industrial robot arrived upon the scene in 1963. Manufactured by a division of AMF Thermatool, Inc., this robot is called the Versatran ( from versatile transfer ). It is characterized by a sturdy horizontal arm coupled to a six-foot vertical steel column which is mounted on a rectangular base.
Although they [Unimate] are different in appearance, the Versatran robot and the Unimate have many similarities. Both can handle objects weighing over 150 pounds. Both are built to last for forty thousand working hours. They sell for about the same price, approximately $25,000 [1971].

Industrial Robots at Work
Industrial robots do work of every imaginable type. They spray-paint automobile engines and spot-weld auto bodies. They stack brick and pluck hot parts from presses and die-casting machines.
What the robot does depends on its program. With the Versatran robot, there are two types of program controls. One is called point-to-point control and is the type used for relatively simple jobs. The other, for more complex tasks, is called continuous-path program control.
When programming a point-to-point control operation, the arm movements and functions to be performed are first drawn on a piece of paper. Then this sequence of "orders" is translated into electronic signals. Short lengths of metal-tipped wires, known as "patch cords," are inserted into the holes of a small, black pegboard, called a "patchboard," to correspond to the written orders.
The programmed patchboard locks into the robot's console panel. The board's contacts connect with memory-storing and command devices known as "potentiometers." Once the potentiometers have been adjusted for the various arm positions in the cycle, the machine is ready to operate. The robot user may own several patchboards, each programmed for a different job.
Programming the Versatran robot for "continuous path" operation is a matter of "teaching" the machine the proper motions to follow. A switch in the console is set for "program." The operator then leads the robot arm through all the motions it will later assume on its own. Gripper commands are also acted out. These signals are automatically recorded on magnetic tapes within the control console. There are fifteen minutes of program time available on each of the two reels of tape the console contains.
The Unimate is programmed in similar fashion—by moving the robot arm through the desired sequence of operation. The sequence registers in the machine's memory unit. Once the robot arm has been "taught" a program, it will follow the prescribed set of operations over and over.
"There's no mystery to programming," says one user. "It doesn't even require a mechanical background, much less a knowledge of electronics."
The job the robot is programmed to do may involve several individual tasks.

See Harry Johnson and Veljko Milenkovic related US patents US3212649, US3241020 and US3298006.

versatran x x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

Versatran  0001 x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

versatran 0011 x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

versatran 0001 x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

versatran (2) x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

MosherSciAmP2 x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

Veljko Milenkovic x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

See Milenkovic tribute and mention of Versatran development here.

VERSATRAN robot in the 1971 movie "Silent Running"

silent running versatran 3 x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

The "billiard's" playing robot is actually an AMF Versatran industrial robot.

silent running versatran 4 x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

Regarding "Silent Running", for a 1972 movie, the Versatran was still considered a state-of-the-art industrial robot.

Versatran base SR x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

Two interchangeable end-effectors are shown, a gripper for loading/depositing billiard balls, and a pneumatic "cue" to strike the ball (below). The standard two-fingered Versatran gripper picks up a B.A.S.E.(tm) 3-fingered gripped to deposit the balls. Another small continuity error in that when picking up the B.A.S.E.(tm) gripper, the 2 pneumatic lines are not attached, but then magically appear in the next shot (see above).  Also in the above image is the AMF Versatran name/logo, as well as the controller on the left. 

silent running versatran controller x640 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic

The control panel in the background is a real and actual point-to-point Versatran control panel,  used to program the various movie sequences. Although portrayed as "thinking for itself" , this robot would have to be choreographed and programmed via the point-to-point controller.

versatran making of 1958 62   VERSATRAN Industrial Robot   Harry Johnson & Veljko Milenkovic