6-axis robots, which act almost like a human’s arm are likely what you think of when “industrical robot” is mentioned, but another type commonly in use is known as a Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm, or SCARA. These robots are made in such a way that three joints allow it to move like an arm permanently held in a horizontal orientation, using a fourth Z-axis to travel up and down for vertical manipulation.
These robots have been around since the early 1980s, and Dane Kouttron was fortunate enough to inherit one of these robots in a non-working state. Given the age of the bot, information on it wasn’t readily available. He was, however, able to find some information on it in MIT’s library (in actual book form), giving him a place to start from on his robotic restoration effort.
From there, it was just a “simple matter” of mounting it to a solid table, rewiring the three servo motors and adding a Z-axis. He then set up Linux CNC to drive these motors, and he had a working robot… Of course, there are a few other details. If you’d like to know what else went into the restoration, check out his lengthy project write-up.
The project obviously a took lot of work, but as seen in the video below, he now has a SCARA robot capable of painting beautiful pictures, namely a portrait of Mega Man!
Ancient SCARA Robot Restored to Create Beautiful Art was originally published in Hackster’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.