Posts Tagged ‘Computer-Mate’

1969 – G.E. Man-Mate Industrial Manipulator – Ralph Mosher / Donald A. Kugath (American)

Video of Man-Mate CAM 1600 c1976 (narrated by Isaac Asimov).


Text of above.

New Industrial Boom Is Displayed by GE
Schenectady General Electric recently displayed the third member of its family of "Industrial manipulators," the Man-Mate CAM 1600 industrial boom for material handling.
The CAM 1600, like other Man-Mate booms, is designed to amplify the operator's strength and retain "human-like" dexterity by following his motions- According to GE officials, this line of industrial booms allows the operator to "feel" the material he handles and react instinctively to it with the ease of lifting a lightweight object by' hand. Basic to this "touch" feature, they said, is a Sens-A-Lift, electro-hydraulic servo control. system.
The CAM 1600 can handle loads up to a nominal capacity of 750 pounds, the capacity depending on the boom's reach and the load-gripper weight. The boom has a 22-foot horizontal reach and 15-foot vertical reach. It rotates on an axis of 300 degrees.
* * *
The Man-Mate series is manufactured by the cybernetics automation and mechanization systems operation of GE's reentry and environmental systems division headquartered here. The line was recently transferred to the division to consolidate the CAM's technology of the company.
The Man-Mate CAM 1600 has been in production service for about 10 months at the General
Electric Appliance Park East in Columia, Md., according to Howard A. Brust, manager-industrial sales for the CAMS Operation.
"The boom is used to sort packaged electric ranges for delivery to the warehouse, transfer time for each being 15-20 seconds.
* * *
The load gripper, or terminal device, is custom-designed to a customer's specific  requirement and provides the function of a man's hand. Some terminal devices now in use include vacuum grippers, mechanical jaws and carton cover lifts. Depending on the terminal device used, the boom can handle such diverse objects as large sheets of plate glass or metal, red-hot metal forgings, automobile transmissions or engines and bulky containers," Brust explained.
"Regarding the recent emphasis on personal safety, the Man-Mate offers a means to remove the man from direct contact with the object to be manipulated, particularly where the function cannot be automated for technical reasons. It's also no problem to provide the operator an air-conditioned cab," he added.

Ralph Mosher, then aged 49, with a version of Man-Mate.

Source: Life Magazine 2 May 1969, p36.


Source: Robots: Fact, Fiction and Prediction – Jasia Reichardt.

Man-Mate was made in several versions to handle different loads. The model above was the larger machine, probably with a lifting capacity of 10,000 lb.  The Man-Mate 1600 had a smaller capacity of 1600 lb.

Of all the GE CAM prototypes, it appears the range of Man-Mates was the main one to stay in production, even being licenced to AST in Germany (see above).

Publication number    US3608743 A
Publication date    Sep 28, 1971
Filing date    May 4, 1970
Inventors    Kugath Donald A, Mosher Ralph S
Original Assignee    General Electric

Note: We see Ralph Mosher's name often enough in relation to GE's Cybernetic Machines, but Donald A. Kugath appears to be a significant player as well.



Western Space and Marine, which was founded by a GE engineer who worked on the Man-Mate line in the 1970s, bought the rights to the Man-Mate technology and continued to develop and improve it. The giant robotic arm, which uses force-feedback to allow the operator to lift loads up to 10,000 lbs, is today used mostly in the forging and foundry industries.

An old Man-Mate "For Sale" a while back.

Apparently the CAM technology was further deployed in these manipulator arms developed for the research submarine, Aluminaut.

See other GE CAMS here:

GE yes man robot life28may56p125 x80 1965 71   G.E. Hardiman I Exoskeleton   Ralph Mosher (American)1956- GE Yes Man
Mosher ge handyman Hula x80 1965 71   G.E. Hardiman I Exoskeleton   Ralph Mosher (American)1958-9- GE Handyman – Ralph Mosher
Pedipulator %20Walker S MFeb63 x80 1965 71   G.E. Hardiman I Exoskeleton   Ralph Mosher (American)1962 – GE Pedipulator – Ralph Mosher
Hardiman x80 Early Teleoperators, Exoskeletons and Industrial Robots1965-71- GE Hardiman I
GE Walking Truck Mosher x80 1965 71   G.E. Hardiman I Exoskeleton   Ralph Mosher (American)1969 – GE Walking Truck – Ralph Mosher

See all the known Teleoperators, Exoskeletons and Industrial Robots here.