PUMA (Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly) Robotic Arm

The PUMA (Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly, or Programmable Universal Manipulation Arm) is an industrial robot arm developed by Victor Scheinman at pioneering robot company Unimation. Initially developed for General Motors, the PUMA was based on earlier designs Scheinman invented while at MIT and Stanford University.

Unimation produced PUMAs for years until being purchased by Westinghouse (ca. 1980), and later by Swiss company Stäubli (1988). Nokia Robotics manufactured about 1500 PUMA robots during the 1980s, the Puma-650 being their most popular model with customers. Nokia sold their Robotics division in 1990.

In 2002, General Motors Controls, Robotics and Welding (CRW) organization donated the original prototype PUMA robot to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. It joins a distinguished collection of historically important robots that includes an early Unimate and the Odetics Odex 1.

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