||Neptune: a water-powered robot arm|
Neptune was massive by comparison with other 8-bit arms, as you can see from this picture of a Neptune 2 arm seen on eBay in 2006. Its base takes up almost the entire surface of the Workmate it's sitting on, which gives some idea of the scale involved. Neptune's actuating cylinders were powered by water rather than oil, hence the Neptune name. Water was pressurised by the separate hydraulic pump unit seen on the neighbouring Workmate.
Neptune 1 shared Neptune 2's construction but was a five axis only arm - gripper swivel being omitted. Similarly, its memory and electronics were more limited.
|And a baby Neptune came too
The Neptune was designed by Richard (Dick) Becker, of Genesis fame, after he set up his new company Cybernetic Applications Ltd. Each Neptune was accompanied by a miniature hand-held 'simulator' arm for lead-by-the-nose and sequence learning applications (see gallery pic). If you look closely at the picture above you can make out a spare three-finger gripper, like the one on the right, sitting on the base of the Neptune arm, and behind that stands the tiny simulator arm, dwarfed even by the spare gripper.
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