[rescue] Anyone Familiar with VMEbus?

Christopher Purdy escher.beretta.2112 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 17 13:06:07 CDT 2021

On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 1:26 PM Mouse <mouse at rodents-montreal.org> wrote:

> >> [...] Puma 560 industrial robot arm.  [...]
> I know nothing about VME cardcage controllers, but PUMA arms, that
> brings back memories.  In the late '80s and early '90s, at McGill, I
> was a peripheral part (OS support, mostly) of a (then) grad student's
> work building robot control software, and the arms I remember seeing it
> running on were Pumas.  There was the little one, used for most of the
> work (I forget numbers, but IIRC it was a bit smaller than a typical
> human arm), and the big one, used...I'm not sure, I think to make sure
> it worked on different arms; the big one was maybe half again to twice
> the reach of a typical human arm.
> I don't recall what we were using for interface hardware once it left
> the host system (I wasn't dealing with it much past that point), but I
> *think* there was no VME anything involved.  So, while this isn't much
> help with the question asked, it does indicate that, depending on how
> much you're willing to replace, you might be able to make it work with
> different controlling hardware.
> That was the gig where we found a hardware bug in the KA630.
> Fun times.
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Yeah,  this is a bit of a childhood dream for me... I remember seeing the
PUMA arms all through my formative years in the 80's and always thought how
cool it would be to have one.

As to the controller - yes - they were VMEbus from the factory - but there
were some companies that made retrofit kits for them to use other control
systems.  I've seen folks build their own as well.... that's a wee bit
above my pay grade... I'm a hack. :)

- Chris
Christopher Purdy
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