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MA2000 (MA 2000) robot arm MA2000 - the Open University's personal robot arm

In the early 1980s, Britain's Open University required a robot arm for use in projects accompanying two new computing courses. The bright yellow MA2000 was the result. It was designed by George Carter (founder of Labman Automation Ltd) and was manufactured by TecQuipment International Ltd, of Long Eaton, Nottingham. TecQuipment also marketed the arm independently as a stand-alone unit.

It was powered by servo motors on its five axes, which allowed closed loop control at all times. Gripper operation, however, required a separate compressed air supply, which was assumed to be available on the typical university lab bench. The arm was offered with a choice of software for the IBM PC or BBC micro.
Note that in most literature of the day the arm was referred to as 'MA2000' but in other places you'll find it written as 'MA 2000' - most notably on the arm itself. Occasionally it's given the fuller title of 'TQ MA 2000'. So take your pick (I'm sticking with MA2000).


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