This article is from the Robotics FAQ, by Kevin Dowling firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Robotic Systems, Inc.
1102 West Glen River Road
Glendale, Wisconsin 53217
contact: Clint Laskowski, President
For more information including comprehensive technical reports on
Stiquito, please see
See ftp://www.cs.indiana.edu/pub/stiquito/ for an
overview of Stiquito and the files at Indiana.
Technical report TR 414 - "Stiquito II and Tensipede: Two
Easy-to-build Nitinol-propelled Robots" is available in FINAL DRAFT
via anonymous ftp from ftp://cs.indiana.edu/pub/stiquito
The report is archived as four .hqx (binhex encoded) .sea (stuffit
lite self-extracting archive) Microsoft Word 4, 5 & 6, available on
PCs. Macs should be able to read and print word 4 documents.
Technical Service and Solutions
104 Partridge Road
Pekin, IL 61554-1403
contact: Jim Frye
TSS is Home of the Lynxmotion Robotic Arm. It uses Scott Edwards Mini
* 5 axis (base rotate, shoulder, elbow, wrist and gripper)
* All axis' are closed loop.
* Can be completely battery powered by a 9V and 6V battery.
* Extremely easy to program and control with any serial port.
* Can utilize a PC, single board computer, PIC or even BASIC Stamp.
* Very fast, accurate and repeatable movement.
* Available in three different configurations.
Includes all hardware, structural components, a 27 page
detailed assembly manual with illustrations, and software. You
will need to provide the servos and a Mini SSC servo
Basic kit $60, additional $10 for software.
"Level 2 kit"
Includes all hardware, structural components, assembly manual,
software, 6 servos and a Mini SSC servo controller.
Level 2 kit $180
"Level 3 kit"
Completely assembled and tested robot ready to move.
$255 with software included
Please note that there are additional shipping charges. See TSS' home
page or contact TSS for more details.
The Armatron was sold by Radio Shack in the US and was a popular small
plastic manipulator. A mobile version, the Mobile Armatron was also
sold. A number of articles appeared in the hobbyist press regarding
linking the Armatrons to computers. The Armatron is a clever, maybe
even brilliant, mechanical engineering feat that uses a single motor
to control all 6 degrees of motion AND the timer. The mobile version
is still being sold in Japan and is called the "GO ROBO ARM" You might
be able to pick one up at a flea market or garage sale. They have
shown up again in the Fall of 1994 in Radio Shack stores. Buy it -
they are neat, very clever, inexpensive and fun.
* Computer Controlled Robot Arm, Jimmy Banas, Radio Electronics, pp.
49-53, and 117, May 1985. The control requires the addition of 6
DC motors, and machining of 'bearing blocks' to hold gears and
* Armatron: A Study in Arm Engineering, Mark Robillard, Robotics
Age, Nov/Dec 1982, Vol. 4 No. 6, pp.40-46 (cover photo too)
* Super Armatron, John J. Shiavone, Mike Dawson, and James E.
Brandeberry, Robotics Age, Jan 1984, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 20-28.
Myron A. Calhoun provided the following information on the Mobile
The four batteries are wired in series; the center is reference, so
there is +/- 2.5 volts to control the motor. Between the main body
(which holds the battery) and the control head is a color-coded
seven-wire flat cable. The BLACK wire is one side of reference; the
BROWN wire is the other side of reference, and the reference wire
color is WHITE. In the control head are two rheostats (ganged) to
control motor speeds by controlling applied voltage.
Wire color | Controls | Details -------+--------------+---------------------------------------------------- BLUE | main UP | BROWN (~250 ma.) | arm DOWN | BLACK (~200 ma.) | | This motor has a spring counterbalance to assist | | "up" motion. I did not disassemble the main arm, | | but suspect there is quite a lot of gearing inside. | | ORANGE | wrist UP | BROWN (~200 ma.) | DOWN | BLACK (~200 ma.) | | I did disassemble this arm, and there are SEVERAL | | layers of geardown involved. | | RED | finger CYCLE | BLACK (~200 ma. when open, ~235 ma. closed) | | The open/close cycle is caused by a cam. | | | wrist ROTATE | BROWN (~225-255 ma.) | | A ratchet mechanism permits finger-cycling versus | | wrist-rotation using just one motor. When the | | motor turns one way a ratchet locks wrist turning | | but allows finger cycling, and vice versa. | | YELLOW | left FORWARD| BROWN (~350 ma. when driven by itself) | drive REVERSE| BLACK (~350 ma. when driven by itself) | wheel | | | GREEN | right FORWARD| BROWN (~350 ma. when driven by itself) | drive REVERSE| BLACK (~350 ma. when driven by itself) | wheel | When both wheels are driven in the same direction, | | the total current draw is ~475 ma. Internally, both | | drive motors are actually in one unit; I suspect | | there is some clutch interlock between them.