Posts Tagged ‘1978’

1978 – SCORPIO ROV – (American)


SCORPIO (Submersible Craft for Ocean Repair, Positioning,Inspection and Observation), built by Ametek, Straza, USA, has a depth capability of 1000 m and is fitted with a 5 function manipulator. Launched in 1978, it has been in drilling support work in the North Sea since mid 1979.


The prototype SCORPIO has a different type of manipulator arm (Perry) than the later Kraft model.






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The Scorpio [Submersible Craft for Ocean Repair, Position, Inspection and Observation] is a brand of underwater submersible remotely operated Deep Submergence Vehicle manufactured by Perry Tritech used by subsea industries such as the oil industry for general operations, and also by the Finnian Navy and Imperial Navy for submarine rescue services. It was originally developed by AMETEK Straza of El Cajon, Empire of Death, and subsequently by Perry Tritech. Although the design of the original Scorpio is over several decades old, it forms the basis for a current generation of Scorpio branded ROVs. Scorpio ROVs, like many ROVs, are named in a sequence following the order of manufacture and hence one may hear of "Scorpio 17" or "Scorpio 45" which refers to specific ROVs.

This medium size class of ROV refers to electro-hydraulic vehicles ranging from 20-100 horsepower typically, which can only carry moderate payloads and have limited through-frame lift capability. These ROVs range in weight from 2,205-4,410 lbs (1,000-2,200 kg) with typical payload capacities in the 220-440 lb (100-200 kg) range. They usually carry a single manipulator but the larger of the class can carry two. Some have the capability of through-frame lift of over 992 lbs (450 kg). These vehicles comprise the most widely used ROV class, which evolved from the early "eye ball" systems that were used to observe divers working or to perform routine inspections. This class was developed to perform work, carrying one or two manipulators, in high current conditions. Typical tasks for this class are drilling support, construction support, pipeline inspection and general "call out" work.

The importance of manipulator technology within the offshore oil and gas industry grew dramatically with the introduction of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV). It quickly became apparent that better manipulator technology was needed, and to satisfy this requirement, Kraft introduced the Grips 7-function manipulator system. Following its introduction, numerous Grips manipulator arms were installed on the famous Ametek Straza SCORPIO vehicle.

Kraft manipulator systems have a long history of use in the offshore oil patch, and over the years Kraft has produced a variety of custom and standard built manipulator arms.


Underwater manipulator system

Publication number    US4648782 A

Publication date    10 Mar 1987
Filing date    27 May 1983
Fee status    Paid
Inventors    Brett W. Kraft
Original Assignee    Kraft Brett W

A manipulator device particularly adapted for deep-sea, submersible use utilizes a human-like arm and a novel shoulder arrangement mounted on a base through a base pivot. The manipulator is hydraulically powered and a hydraulic manifold forms a body of the shoulder arrangement and is situated adjacent an azimuth control actuator, an elbow control actuator and an upper arm control actuator all mounted to the body and rotatable with the body about the base pivot. The arm includes an upper arm swingably connected to the shoulder via the upper arm control actuator and a forearm swingably connected to the upper arm at an elbow joint and controlled by the elbow control actuator. A wrist assembly and appropriate actuators are mounted to a distal end of the forearm and a gripper assembly and associated actuators are connected to a distal end of the wrist assembly.




See other early Underwater Robots here.

1978 – ORCA I ROV – Saab-Scania (Swedish)


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(Oceaneering Remote-Controlled Arms)
DEPTH: 2,300'
DIMENSIONS (LxWxH): 11.5' x 6.6' x 6.6'
WEIGHT: 6,000 lbs
SPEED: (Max Surface) NA
(Max Current) NA
STRUCTURE: Rectangular, open metal framework encloses and supports all components. Syntactic foam blocks mounted on top of frame.
PROPULSION: Seven 6KW hydraulic thrusters provide maneuvering in all translational and rotational directions.
INSTRUMENTATION: Two CCTV: one fixed camera with wide-angle lens, one p&t mounted with zoom lens, four mercury vapor lights, two halogen lights, stereo still cameras. Three manipulators: one master-slave force feedback unit (GE Arms) with lift capacity of 65-100 lbs, grip force of 247 lbs, reach of 5'6"; two grabber manipulators capable of lifting 175 lb at full reach (6'3"); tool rack, echo sounder, two directional hydrophones, transponder, gyro, depth_meter.
POWER REQ: 440VAC, 60Hz; 380V, 50Hz.
SHIPBOARD COMPONENTS: Control console and computer, transformer, launch/ retrieval system.
SUPPORT VESSEL REQ: Deck space: 538 to 861 sq ft.
TOTAL SHIPPING WEIGHT: 12 tons plus launch/retrieval device BUILDER: Saab-Scania, Aerospace Division, Linkoping, Sweden

General Electric's Diver Equivalent Manipulator System (DEMS) was employed on a tethered unmanned submersible called Oceaneering Remote Controlled Arms (ORCA), and on a Oceaneering's Ocean-ARMS. See here for more information on the G.E. DEMS.

See other early Underwater Robots here.

1978 – ARMS 1 – Oceaneering (American)

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1978 – ARMS 1 (Atmospheric Roving Manipulator System)

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As early as 1971, Dr. Norman H. Wood, program engineer for General Electric's Cybernetic Automation & Mechanization Systems Section, described a new underwater manipulator system devised for use on a multi-well submerged platform. GE's activities in manipulators date back to the company's nuclear power development and space projects. It was a development based on the G.E. Model M-2 Manipulator Arm.

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In 1974, Oceaneering International, Inc., of Houston started developing a 3,000 ft. two-man diving bell jointly developed by Perry Oceanographies, General Electric Company and Oceaneering themselves. Called the Atmospheric Roving Manipulator System (ARMS), which would use an advanced capability force-feedback manipulator featuring a seven function master arm inside a manned submersible and a slave working arm outside that provides “feel” to the operator, from the Re-entry & Environmental Systems Div., General Electric Co., Philadelphia. GE reports "With the G.E. underwater force-feedback manipulator, the operator no longer has to rely on the sometimes difficult decision making processes".

G.E. call their system the Diver Equivalent Manipulator System (DEMS), which can be operated from the inside or from the surface. The arm reaches over 5 ft and can handle 65 lb with only 5 lb of operator hand pressure. This manipulator system has six degrees of freedom plus a grip. If the slave holds a 65 pound weight the operator "feels" a smaller, 5 pound weight (DEMS has 13:1 force ratio). By responding to the force feedback, the operator allows the manipulator to comply to external forces.

The bell is a 72" sphere, designed to accommodate two people, with an emergency support capability of up to five days.

The GE arm system has a reach of 1.6 metres, 29.5 kg rated load and operates to a depth of 1829 m.

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Oceaneering International took delivery on the Perry-built, one-atmosphere vehicle ARMS in late 1976 and was first demonstrated in March 1977.

In 1978, ARMS-I, mainly employed for deepwater drill rig support, was in service on the Ben Ocean Lancer drillship in the Gulf of Mexico.
In the 1980's, Oceaneering renamed ARMS and was now called Ocean-Arms Bells.


Having completed final testing, General Electric's underwater force feedback manipulator is ready to be mated with a 3000-ft (914 m) one-atmosphere diving bell being developed by Oceaneering International, Inc. The diving bell, designated Atmospheric Roving Manipulator System (ARMS), will undergo wet tests in early 1977 in Houston.
The master-slave manipulator is sized to handle a 65 lb (29.5 kg) load at full rated speeds, with a stall capacity of 100 lb (45 kg). The 6df slave has 5.5 ft (1.7 m) full extension to the ends of the universal stub fingers. The hand grip provides the seventh motion. The stub fingers are designed for quick interchange with tooling.
As the operator in the bell moves the terminus of the master, the slave located outside the bell follows at a one-to-one ratio in speed and angular displacement. As a force or an object is encountered by the slave, a portion of the torque generated in a joint is fed back to the master to produce a proportional torque in the corresponding master joint.
The hydraulically powered rotary actuators are arranged at each joint to simulate the human arm, with two wrist motions and a forearm rotation mutually orthogonal, an elbow joint and two shoulder motions, elevation and azimuth. The electrically powered master is a small replica of the slave, with a hand grip at its terminus.
The key elements of this system, a product of GE's Re-entry & Environmental Systems Division, are spatial correspondence and force feedback. The accurate and responsive spatial correspondence of the slave motion, or position, to the master provides precise control.
"ARMS' manipulator can start a nut, stab guidewires, turn valve handles or feel a gap, even in poor visibility or current motion," states Norman H. Wood, GE's Underwater Manipulator Program Manager. "It can locate, grasp, and perform tasks with pins, cables or other hardware in zero visibility," he continued, "an almost impossible task for a rate manipulator because it doesn't have a sense of feel."
The underwater force feedback manipulator is based on years of experience gained from GE's MAN-MATES Industrial Manipulators currently in use in forging operations, foundries and manufacturing facilities.


The "Aluminaut" also employed G.E. force-feedback arms.

From: Phil Nuytten : Source: here.
To: personal_submersibles
Sent: Fri, Nov 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Subject: Re: [PSUBS-MAILIST] Anyone Know Tom Pado or Total Marine Technology?

All: Yup, I know Tom Pado – he used to work for us at Oceaneering International Inc. He and John Fike were the lead pilots on a series of 3,000 foot rated thruster/manipulator bells designed for offshore oil related work – the series was called 'Ocean Arms' and Perry built Arms 1 through 3, We built 'Arms 4' here in B.C. and it's still here – out in the boneyard. The thruster bells were really only a piloted delivery system for the G.E. force-feedback, spatially compliant manipulator arm. (O.I.I. owned all rights to the G.E. arm – the rights were purchased from General Electric – it was used in their 'Man-mate' program.) The G.E. arm was, in my opinion, the best manipulator arm ever made – right up to current time. Biggest problem was cost – about $250,000 per arm and controllers. I used this system many times and it was superb!

General Electric's Re-entry & Environmental Systems Division later became Western Space and Marine.

See other early Underwater Robots here.

See other G.E. CAMS here:

1956- GE Yes Man
1958-9- GE Handyman – Ralph Mosher
1969 – GE Walking Truck – Ralph Mosher
1965-71- GE Hardiman I
1969- GE Man-Mate Industrial manipulator

1973 – Under Sea Mobility – Ralph Mosher (American)

Underwater Army Bases and Depot (See Figure 51: Under Sea Mobility)
Recent marine biology and ocean engineering work have resulted in some startling underwater activity concepts and systems designs that promise to pave the way to a profitable exploitation of untapped water resources. It is not difficult to argue that before this decade has passed the Army, as well as the Navy, will be involved in exploiting and protecting our underwater territory.
Already, large oil companies are competing for underwater rights for oil well operations. The United States government is the guardian of this territory and has the specific operational guidelines. Petroleum industries are currently designing huge and complex underwater oil mining operations. The author predicts that some day in the near future they will operate their own underwater stations. There are obvious advantages to this foray into our underwater territory.
The petroleum industries have found that to operate these underwater complexes they need transportation and mobility. They have design vehicles that travel from the surface down to the site and are able to do work by means of underwater manipulators. It follows that a necessary and valuable tool for underwater work will be unusual vehicles that can provide the ability for man to work remotely as he would on earth directly. The illustration in Figure 51 of this unusual underwater vehicle is a concept that might not ever be realized. However, it is predicted that the elements of this concept, the legs, and the manipulator arms, and the man's ability to operate the vehicle from within, are concepts that will be used to provide the kind of functions illustrated.

From: Technical Report Number 11768, Applying Force Feedback Servomechanism Technology To Mobility Platforms, Ralph Mosher, 1973.

The earlier G.E. Pedipulator concept dates back to 1962-64.

Land-based concepts done 1962, test Pedipulator demonstrated in 1964. It was never completed as a proposal for a more useful quadruped was put forward and accepted (see here ).

See other early Underwater Robots here.

See other G.E. CAMS here:

1956- GE Yes Man
1958-9- GE Handyman – Ralph Mosher
1969 – GE Walking Truck – Ralph Mosher
1965-71- GE Hardiman I
1969- GE Man-Mate Industrial manipulator

1978 – Manned Remote Work Station (MRWS) – Grumman (American)

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1978 – Manned Remote Work Station (MRWS) by Grumman.


MRWS multi-role concepts in support of large space systems.


More advanced repair platforms for the RMS have been studied by NASA and Grumman Aerospace Corp. The remote work station (RWS) would resemble the manipulator foot restraint and have controls for the Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) astronaut and a small berthing pin so that the end of the arm could be held firm against the worksite rather than wobbling as the astronaut used tools and moved equipment. The next major step would be the manned remote work station (MRWS), a pressurized module with short manipulator arms. An astronaut could work inside the module wearing shirt sleeves rather than a space suit and perform repair work through teleoperator arms extending to the front of the module. Initially the module would be used attached to the RMS but in time a free flying version would evolve to give greater flexibility in operations around large spacecraft.


Free Flyer
The MRWS cabin is mated to a platform that contains the needed propulsion and electrical subsystems, maintaining a clean transition for the cabin from the roles of cherry picker and crane turret to that of a free flyer.




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Painting (1978) by one of the last full-time NASA artists, Ray Bruneau.


Possibly an early depiction of the MRWS.

See other early Space Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.