Join RIA
Click here for details


Robotics Online is sponsored by Robotic Industries Association, and provides information to help engineers, managers and executives apply and justify robotics and flexible automation. The site includes a Buyer's Guide with a search engine function, plus feature articles, daily news updates, case studies, technical papers, event calendar, job openings, an "Ask the Experts" forum, and much more.

Founded in 1974, RIA is the only trade group in North America organized specifically to serve the robotics industry. Member companies include leading robot manufacturers, users, system integrators, component suppliers, research groups, and consulting firms.

Robotic Industries Association
900 Victors Way
P.O. Box 3724
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Phone: 734/994-6088
Fax: 734/994-3338
RIA is part of the Automation Technologies Council, an umbrella group serving automation companies involved in robotics, machine vision, motion control and related technologies. Visit our sister websites:

Archived News Articles Top |

PUMA Robot Becomes Part of American History at the Smithsonian

Washington, DC, April 19, 2002--General Motors Controls, Robotics and Welding (CRW) organization has donated the original prototype Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly (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. 

Click on image for more pictures.

To celebrate the donation of the PUMA robot, known as 'Alice,' and to gather more information about its invention and early use, the Museum and GM co-sponsored a video history session on April 19 in Washington, DC.  A small group of pioneers who worked on or with PUMA robots during the 1970s and 1980s, including Joe Engelberger, known as the father of robotics (without his traditional bow-tie) and Vic Scheinman, inventor of the PUMA wearing a red-bow tie to signal his membership in the inner-circle of roboticists. 

According to Steve Lubar, Chair, Division of History and Technology, ''Our goal in this video history session is to document the early history of the PUMA robot.  The video will be preserved in the collections of the Museum for use by historians and researchers.  We hope to gain a better sense of the process of invention, development, and adoption as well as the historical significance of this pioneering effort.''

''It was a unique experience to be with such a fantastic group of industry trailblazers, and to hear them recall so many manufacturing accomplishments that came from the invention and deployment of the PUMA robot,'' said Don Vincent, RIA's Executive Vice President.  ''It was a caring and futuristic-minded group that conceived and raised the PUMA robot to positively impact productivity in the factory. Today, 'Alice' found a new home and a place in American history.''

To help the Smithsonian Institute document the history of robotics, RIA welcomes contact about equipment donations, early manuals, drawings, photographs or other documents that should be saved for the historic record.  Contact Don Vincent at: or (734) 994-6088.

Brian Huse
Robotic Industries Association

900 Victors Way, Suite 140, P.O. Box 3724, Ann Arbor, MI 48106  |  P: (734)994-6088  |  F: (734)994-3338