Armatron Lives – On Steroids! (Video link)

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Every “roboteer” worth their salt remembers “Armatron”, the fantastic robot arm from Tomy, and marketed by Radio Shack in the US during the early 1980’s. Well, it turns out that a group of Japanese roboteers also must have some pretty fond memories of Armatron too, because not only have they built one, they’ve improved it, doubled it, and given it legs!


RT Corporation in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan - just a few minutes walk from the famous Akihabara Electronics district has been actively promoting their Robot School and online Robot Shop. They have even gone so far as offering low cost hourly rentals of their Robo-One style fighting ring and their micromouse maze so that budding robot hobbyists have a place to try out their creations in a real competition setting.

Now they have just introduced a robot arm, named RT-0002, that looks just like, well, Armatron:


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It swivels around, opens and closes its claw, moves blocks around, and even waves its arm around in the air in a kind of victory dance when it’s finished. By itself, it’s really a cool piece of gear. Fun to play and experiment with.

But, of course just recreating an Armatron type robot arm wasn’t enough for the folks at RT, not by a long shot.

They took two of the massive arms and installed them on a Robo-One battle robot chassis that looks like it’s ready to make mince meat out of anything that’s stupid enough to get in its way:

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 Two of the RT-0001 robot arms mounted on
 a KHR-1 battle robot chassis

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 Let’s get ready to rumble!!!

The March Hare, webmaster for the popular robot-fan.net website, is featuring both of the new RT creations in a great video clip here: Armatron Type Battle Robot

What can we say except, “We Want One!!!”

Related links:

RT Corporation Website (Japanese)

Robot-Fan.net Website (Japanese)

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3 comments

  1. What, they re-engineered the mechanical drive rings and clutch mechanisms inside (I peeked into mine) without telling us how or better yet, why?
    It was a simple yet elegant solution to sharing power from one or two motors to operate the whole arm. No spiffy electronic motion sensors or stop block sensors involved! How can you improve that?

  2. ZOMFG I LOVED MY ARMATRON!!!!!

  3. I worked on the original Armatron stuff, sold the original Tomy ones in my store, Robotorium, Inc, on their release. The idea was to have a real working robot arm that was relatively indestructible that had the kinds of functions that made people understand that they could not only run the robotics, but that they understood it both intuitively and technically.
    Tandy bought the product, factory and all and then produced, well, possibly millions of Armatrons. As far as I am concerned, you guys should run with it and keep going. I don’t have any need for a robot or even robotics that mimic humans. I prefer robotics that do stuff that needs to get done without looking like people. That’s boring. Quit going for bi-lateralism. Who needs a human looking robot smashing through the house and running over the cat to open the door. Why not have a robotic door that has adjuncts to recognize who it should open for…much more efficient, smart lock and hinges. You guys all need to look up the very real Omni-bot that could go through a human style door, squish under a slightly opened garage door and march onto the back of a pick-up truck easily. Also, make them autonomous and skip running stuff with controllers. Learn to do embedded systems and get the systems going on their own. Run with it, Sheesh.
    Debbie the Roboteer, just before 2008
    PS The floating rings were idiot-proofing. They couldn’t be stripped if someone over forced a move.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. MAKE: Blog - Armatron Lives! Robot-Dreams.com has some great videos and history of a reborn Armatron - "Every "roboteer" worth their salt remembers "Armatron", ...
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