• Short Summary

    To understand remotely operated dexterous systems one begins with an analysis of man as a handling and manipulating system, noting four interrelated systems: his sense organs, e.

  • Description

    a demonstration of a pair of external arms which have been fitted to the Aluminaut research sub---then some film of the sub and the arms in action.


    Details of the arms in attached release. Note additionally that the arms are controlled hydraulically and operated by a "stick"--one for each arm, plus a collection of switches. These are all very clearly shown in the film.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: To understand remotely operated dexterous systems one begins with an analysis of man as a handling and manipulating system, noting four interrelated systems: his sense organs, e.g. eyes, ears; his effectors, e.g. arms and legs; his brain and his nervous system. The sensory organs provide information on his surroundings. The brain assembles and organises the sensory data, and it issues command orders to the nervous system. The effectors, as controlled by the nervous system, perform physical tasks or movements. the sensory organs function and the effectors function can be extended by electronic servo means over any distance. In this way, a man's senses and his ability to accomplish useful work can be extended to any distance. Man's brain and nervous system is not duplicatable by any electronic means and, therefore, man must be an integrated part of the overall system, but he is shielded from the hazardous environment. This concept is the basis of remotely dexterous systems.

    Generalized System
    Three subsystems are identifiable in a generalised system: effectors subsystems, sensory subsystems and the subsystem which forms the interface between man and machine.

    Effectors Subsystem
    The effectors are generally identified by anthropomorphous terms, e.g. hands, arms and legs. In general, however, these do not resemble human effectors. Manipulative capabilities have received much attention, while by comparison, the pedipulative capabilities have received very little. Pedipulative capabilities generally means locomotion of the manipulative capability to the task although a true "walking truck" is under development (the Quadruped).

    Sensory Subsystem
    Sensory inputs include optics, sonar, radar, television, ultrasonics, and spectroscopic. Ultrasonics, sonar and radar are limited to applications where geometry is not necessary. Spectroscopic techniques are a possibility when chemical identification is necessary, e.g. lunar roving vehicle. In some cases optical systems can do things better than the human eye, e.g. a reticle optical system gives better measurement of distant objects than the eye.

    Man-Machine Interface
    The more integrated man is with the system, the more effectively he can associate himself with the task he is doing. Systems which provide muscular feedbacks as well as visual perspective allow man to associate himself much more closely with the remote task than systems without ??? feedbacks.

    Undersea Research and Recovery Vehicles
    Since the Thresher disaster in 1963, increasing emphasis has been placed on the need for both government agencies and civilian contractors to provide a capability for deep sea rescue and recovery work. The need was again demonstrated early in 1966 when a nuclear device was lost off the coast of Spain. In both cases, vehicles with manipulative capability were instrumental in the search and recovery operations.

    As underwater search and retrieval vehicles are developed, similar vehicles equipped with manipulators could be designed specifically for ship and cargo salvage, repair and maintenance, construction, demolition, etc.

    Programmed manipulators designed to perform routine simple tasks in industries where such ???.

    The arms will work at depths of up to 15 thousand (15,000) feet (!) feet, the depth to which the Aluminaut is intended to go. We gather that she has not reached that depth yet--and the depth she has reached is classified.

    The arms were manufactured by General Electric and now owned by Reynolds. The Aluminaut was built by and is owned by Reynolds Aluminum Corporation.

    In the film, the arms are seen collecting a bottom sample (they appear to be putting two tin cans together) and then assisting a tornedo into a cradle device to bring it to the surface. Obviously, the film was not made at a great depth

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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