Info on hacking a Puma 500?

I have a line on a fairly cheap Puma 500, with no controller. I'm tempted, since I used this model way-back-when and liked it, but I've never hacked on on
the hardware level. So I'd like to get a feel for what kind of informational resources are available if I were to decide to try and build a DIY controller for this unit. Has anyone done this before?
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I have a pair of Puma 560 arms and Unimation Mark-II controllers with documentation, so I can help you out some if you decide to do this project.
The arm has DC motors, quadrature encoders and analog pots for each axis, so you would need a DC servo controller for each axis along with something to read the pots and help each axis figure out its position when you first power-up.
A 5-axis Compumotor system and 5 DC drives woudl certainly be up to the task, but that's probably $2000 worth of stuff.
Then you would need to do the hard part and generate all the transformation matricies by measuring the length and offsets for each link. (Unless you can find it online. I have the 560 matricies, and if I remember, the 500 is a 5-axis machine that has at least similar lengths and offsets.)
Then you would need to do all the forward kinematics stuff if you want to. There is a Puma simulator for Matlab that would do close to 100% of this for you if you want to invest in controlling the arm from Matlab.
Give me a shout if you want some help. I'm in MN.
--
- Alan Kilian <kilian pobox com> (You know the drill don't you?)

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On Tue, 04 Jan 2005 13:54:41 +0000, SkyeFire wrote:

I'm working on a similar project to replace the legacy control computer and possibly the programming language and OS for a puma 700. Most of the information I'm finding seems to be for sale in online product brochures, so I'm having a hard time getting a handle on the functions of each component (VAL II, Mark II, and programming).
Where can I find some general information about these systems?
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contact Staubli Corp Robot Division 201 Parkway West PO BOX 189 Hillside Park US - DUNCAN S.C. 29334 864 433 1980
Staubli purchased the assets of Unimation, so they were the last known experts on these arms. ask for Robot Applications, ask them if they can refer you to some pot bellied, gray haired, burned out robot guys who still know anything about these dinosaur arms.
or contact the home office in Faverges FRANCE (see www.staubli.com for contact info) and ask them the same thing.
But don't hold your breath. Those arms are wa-a-ayy old.
I'm_Curly_Today

tempted,
hacked on on

informational
controller
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