Posts Tagged ‘1969’

1969 – Argus Submersible – (Soviet)

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"Argus" [«Аргус»] submersible built in 1974.

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Research PA "Argus" is designed in Experimental Design Bureau of oceanographic equipment for the Institute of Oceanology of the Southern Branch of the Institute of Oceanology of the USSR Academy of Sciences, to carry out oceanographic and hydrological studies, as well as research on the continental shelf. Chief Designer H. Grivtsov.
Shipyard Rechflot "Belogorodskaya Shipyard" designed "Argus" in 1969 and built it  in 1974-75.
Rugged steel spherical with four portholes.
The device was equipped with a manipulator and can carry different equipment and replacement equipment. The navigation software work is done by a set of sonar beacons.
Initially, research PA "Argus" had the support vessel and launches with a special trolley and then towed to the work site. Source: here.

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See other early Underwater Robots here.


1969 – NR-1 Submersible – General Dynamics (American)

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1969 – NR-1 Submersible by General Dynamics.

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Early design sketch of the NR-1 sub.

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Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down: 10 June 1967
Launched: 25 January 1969

Source: Wikipedia
NR-1 is able to land on the seafloor on a pair of retractable wheels and can lift heavy objects with a manipulator arm system. NR-1's major strength, however, is the ability to provide a stable platform and abundant electric power for surveillance missions of two weeks or longer.

The custom-built, one-of-a-kind vessel carried no weapons, measured just 140 ft and travelled at just four knots, but held ten men for up to a month at a time.

It was a pet project of Admiral Hyman Rickover, the 'father of the nuclear Navy', and contained a custom-built mini nuclear reactor which powered it as deep as 3,000 feet.

Once on the sea bed, it had wheels and lights to explore the ocean floor.

It was mainly a research sub, but also performed Cold War military missions which remain highly classified.


See also Simon Lake's 1931 "Explorer"  as an earlier example of a submersible on wheels!

See other early Underwater Robots here.


1968-69 – Deepstar 2000 Diving Saucer – Westinghouse (American)

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1968-69 – Deepstar 2000 Diving Saucer by Westinghouse.

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The manipulator arm is simple as per all Cousteau/Westinghouse submersibles of this period with only two degrees of freedom. The arm is electro-hydraulic and the claw is of the clam-shell type, also referred to as an "orange peel" claw. Arm is also mechanically jettisonable for safety reasons.

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1968-69 – Deepstar 2000 Diving Saucer by Westinghouse.


See Cousteau's earlier SP-350 here and Deepstar 4000 here.

See other early Underwater Robots here.


1962 – Manned Auxillary Fitter Craft with Mandible (Concept) – Sperry Gyroscope Company (American)

1962 – Manned Auxillary Fitter Craft with Mandible. Not the name the vehicle was called in the original Sperry Gyroscope Company advertisement when it appeared in the February, 1962 issue of  Scientific American Magazine.

The shape is somewhat reminiscient of Wernher von Braun's "Bottle Suit", with manourvering engines top and bottom, but only one pair of manipulator arms.

The image is more famous in being copied by the Soviet Union and re-issed by the TASS agency in 1969 as if it were their own space station development. The first space station ever was Salyut 1, which was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1971. Like all the early space stations, it was "monolithic", intended to be constructed and launched in one piece, and then manned by a crew later. The wheel shape had been dropped by all by this time.

10/11/69-MOSCOW: The Soviet Union hurled a "flying machine shop" carrying two cosmonauts into earth orbit 10/11. Reliable sources said it would be followed soon by one or two more manned craft and that crews would eperiment in the construction of an orbital space station. This Soviet sketch shows a future Soviet space station which will be used to assemble and launch interplanetary ships. The sketch shows portion of space station (BTM), a spaceship under construction (UR) and a one-man construction craft (UL). TASS PHOTO


Source: Lodi News-Sentinel, October 25, 1969.

Source: Life Magazine, Nov 14, 1969.

Source: February, 1962 issue of  Scientific American Magazine.

Source: New York Times, 13 Oct 1969.


See other early Space Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.


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1969 – Robot Vacuum Cleaner Concept from Computopia – (Japanese)

Computopia, a contraction of the words computer and Utopia, is a Japanese concept from the late 60s. This snippet of a robotic floor cleaner is from a set of great illustrations from the Japanese magazine Shonen Sunday who illustrated an article on the topic.

Source and full set of illustrations here.


See other early remote-controlled and robotic vacuum cleaners and floor scrubbers here.


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