Posts Tagged ‘1970’

1970 – “Search 2” [“Поиск-2”] Submersible – (Soviet)


Search PA pr.1832 "Search 2" [Поисковый ПА пр.1832"Поиск-2"]


Manipulator arms are folded underneath hull.



1 – pen horizontal steering; 2 cowl steering column the sustainer engine; 3 – drive steering column; 5 – aft main ballast tanks; 6 – the hatch; 7 – pilot house; 8 – ring cargo unit; 9 – service module; 10 – Guard rails; 11 – vertical thruster; 12 – BTF bow; 13 – lag bow thruster; 14 – Manipulator arm; 15 – porthole assistant commander for research; 17 – replacement tank; 18 – hard ballast; 19 – supporting AB; 20 – remote commander; 22 – equalizing tank; 23 – the main AB; 24 – aft trim tanks.


Пост помощника по НИР головного “Поиска-2”
The post of research assistant head " Search 2"


Пульт помощника командира по научно-исследовательской работе
Remote assistant commander for research work.

Interesting that the layout is more conventional to those used in the nuclear industry.


Diagram showing movement of manipulator arms.

There were four Search-2's made. The first was initiated in 1970, launched in 1973, and delivered to the Soviet Navy in 1975.

Source: See here.

See other early Underwater Robots here.

1970-1 – CURV Mobile Linkage Manipulator – Naval Undersea Research (American)


1970-1 – CURV Mobile Linkage Manipulator. Originally developed for the Cable-controlled Undersea Remove Vehicle (CURV), it was adapted for potential use as a mobile nuclear manipulator as seen here. Later it was used in Bezjcy's lab at the Jet Propulstion Laboratories (JPL), along with the JPL/Ames Arm.




The NEVADA/CURV system (Fig. 3) consists of the CURV Linkage Arm mounted on a turret which can be rotated and elevated relative to the carrier vehicle, two TV cameras for stereo viewing, a separate TV camera for monodisplay, and a remote control station with RF or hardwired link to the vehicle-arm-TV system. This hydraulically powered arm has six degrees-of-freedom, plus opening and closing the hand mechanism. The essential and novel feature of this manipulator is that it provides true linear extension by the use of an idler gear of twice the radius of a forearm drive gear. Extension is achieved by moving the upper arm with respect to the idler. The linkage action causes the course travelled by the wrist during extension to be a straight line passing through both the azimuth and elevation axes. Elevation is achieved by rotating the whole mechanism about the vertical axis of the idler. A double parallelogram added to the linkage eliminates wrist disorientation during changes in elevation and extension or the arm. Thus, the arm performs the function of positioning the hand, without disconnecting it, in a spherical coordinate system. The arm has a high section modulus which makes it rigid but lightweight. The existing prototype can handle loads corresponding to nearly 70% of the arms weight at 1.5 m extension. The control system is presently a single on-off control for each joint. Rate control servo for joystick control and position control servo for computer control are under construction. The equioment of the hand with tactile, proximity, and force/torque sensors is also in progress. Presently, the NEVADA/CURV system is used for hand-eye coordination experiments.
Source: JPL Technical Memorandum 33-721. Jan 1, 1975

See also paper by Uhrich, R., "CURV Linkage Manipulator," Naval Research Center. November 1971.


Linear linkage manipulator arm

Publication number    US3703968 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    28 Nov 1972
Filing date    20 Sep 1971
Priority date    20 Sep 1971
Inventors    Richard W Uhrich, Jimmy L Held
Original Assignee    Us Navy

A manipulator arm comprises two parallelogram linkages in combination with a trapezium linkage. The three linkage systems cooperate to produce movement in spherical coordinates when used in conjunction with three independent actuators. The two parallelogram linkages preserve spacial coordination between the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints and the trapezium linkage permits radial extension of objects carried thereby.

See other early Teleoperators here.

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


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


Virgule being demonstrated at an exhibition.

See 1:14 and 4:16 into video clip.


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.



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.




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 (1929-1985)

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1970 – Experimental Teleoperator System (T/S) – NASA (American)

The objectives of this FPE are to develop and evaluate an experimental teleoperator (T/O) system. Such a system would be a precursor to an operational system and would provide a means for evaluating teleoperator performance, safety, and suitability for performing various tasks in space. Upon completion of this experimental phase, the system would be converted to an interim operational tool for use with the Space Shuttle or Space Station while final design of a fully operational system was being completed.
The experimental teleoperator (T/O) system comprises a small, free-flying T/O spacecraft and a control station. A two-way RF link provides commands to the T/O spacecraft and feedback information to the control station. The T/O system concept is depicted in Figure 5-1 above.
The T/O manipulator arms duplicate the motions of a human controller operating the master manipulator at the control Station. A stereoscopic TV system and manipulator force feedback provide the controller with a feeling of presence at the T/O work site.
The control station may be located in a parent spacecraft or in a ground installation.
An operational T/O system would be used to perform various inspection, assembly, maintenance, and servicing tasks in lieu of performance of these tasks by an astronaut in EVA. The experimental T/O system will be designed to perform representative tasks which will serve as the basis for comparing T/0 capabilities versus those of an EVA astronaut. The experimental teleoperator system to comprised of the following elements:
a. Teleoperator spacecraft.
b. Control station.
c. Support equipment.
d. Ground-based control station.

The teleoperator spacecraft, illustrated in Figure 5-2, consists of a structure housing the spacecraft subsystems, a propellant supply tank, four sets of quad thrusters, a two-axis camera mount, binocular TV cameras and lights, a single close-up TV camera, two manipulator arms with interchangeable end effectors, and three docking arms.
Control of the T/O is accomplished from the control station depicted in Figure 5-1 above.  
The manipulators used on the T/O will be a three-joint design with a separable end effector. The manipulator arms will fold to reduce the envelope of the T/0 for docking and stowage as shown in Figure 5-2. The manipulators will use a closed-loop control system with force feedback to the master manipulator arms at the control station. The basic end effector will be the parallel jaw grasping mechanism. End effectors will be replaceable with special purpose tools, such as power driven wrenches, etc.

WASHINGTON–SPACE SHUTTLE–Inspection of a space shuttle before re-entry by a remote robot. Using a television camera and the arms of a robot an astronaut could control everything from inside the spacecraft.

Above images released by NASA on November 17, 1970.

See other early Space Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.

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1970 – Space Tug (Concept) – MSFC/Boeing (American)

Re-useable Space Tug Concept Report dated 1970

Manipulator Kit only for manned space tug.

The initial operational capability (IOC) date for the unmanned earth-orbit tug was Jan 1980,
the manned earth-orbit tug for December 1980 (includes Manipulator Kit), and the manned lunar tug for April 1983.

The Space Tug is modular in design.

Space Tug – Earth Orbit Applications Managed by Marshall Space Flight Center, the Space Tug concept was intended to be a reusable multipurpose space vehicle designed to transport payloads to different orbital inclinations. Utilizing mission-specific combinations of its three primary modules (crew, propulsion, and cargo) and a variety of supplementary kits, the Space Tug was capable of numerous space applications. This 1970 artist's concept represents a typical configuration required to conduct operations and tasks in Earth orbit. The Space Tug program was cancelled and did not become a reality.

Above images sourced from here.

Note: It has been suggested by others that the artists concept here (above) is of a Boeing design. I have not seen actual proof of that as yet.

MSFC is Marshall Space Flight Center.

See other early Space Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.