Let's Make Robots!

SVI-2000 Robotarm Control with Picaxe

This my first blog post about a project to add a PICAXE microcontroller to a Quick Shot SVI-2000 Robot arm.

Background:
The Quick Shot SVI-2000 Robot arm was manufactured in the mid-1980s as a toy/educational trainer. It is similar to the modern OWI Robot Arms but it came fully assembled and not as a kit. The unit could optionally be controlled by a cartridge plugged into an MSX computer and manipulated with the ROGO programming language which was similar to LOGO. The other way to operate the arm was with two Atari style joysticks. The arm itself was manufactured by SpectraVideo a.k.a. SVI. They manufactured the QuickShot line of  joysticks. SpectraVideo went out of business in 1988.

The arm has five degrees of movement. There are five small DC motors, each connected to plastic gears. There is one motor in the base, two in the "shoulder" joint and two in the "elbow." The wrist and gripping action are controlled by motors in the elbow attached to long rods so as to keep weight out of the end of the arm. There are no sensors for position feedback.

There is also a light on top of the elbow joint that illuminates only when the gripper opens and closes.

The arm is fun but not especially fast moving.

Let the modding begin!