RoboResto: Bring new life and high tech to old bots

Posted by Reiner Schmidt on

At Roboteurs we spend about 90% of our time designing, building, testing, and re-designing. The other 10% of our time we devote to silly projects that usually never seem to have an end. We have decided that it would be really cool to make these projects public so people can see some of the cool things we do in our creative time.

Now before we go on I must warn you, I am an engineer so the spelling in this article will be just awful so please bear with me (edit: luckily I (Justin) can proof read)

This is our first candidate for the Robotresto project. This was dug out of an old lab and had no controller and no documentation, it just had a lot of dust. Finding this arm was like finding a piece of gold. Restoring old robots is a real passion of mine. I think its the combination of learning about older methods and trying to adopt new ones.

Finding a robot like this one is probably the hardest part of this project. Sometimes you can find some cool old ones on ebay but usually it's just to expensive to ship them (like $500 to get an old SCARA across the country).

The robot is driven by some 12V DC motors, and these are connected to a clunky looking gear box. These little motors will move the robot without a doubt but how fast they will go is the real question. 

On the side of the robot we have some little blue potentiometers. I hope these are still working okay, it might be tough replacing these. They are connected directly to the mechanical link in the robot. Despite the low accuracy of using a potentiometer, this will be easy to code and no homing of the joints is required!

Robot Details

  • Weight: A lot, there is a big aluminum counter weight on the robot and the whole thing is made of steel
  • Manufacturer: Feedback Inc. , seemingly out of business
  • Restoration difficulty: 4/10 (so kind of easy)
  • Documentation: None