Reviving an old Seiko TT4000SC

Written 2017-10-26

Tags:Motors TT4000SC Seiko 

Someone dropped off an old industrial robot at Hammerspace. After a while stored in the back, and a move to a new location, thisisradionick and I decided to get it running.

The Seiko TT4000SC consists of two major components, a 4-axis robot(Z,shoulder,elbow,wrist), and a control box. Our control box had a sticker noting that the RAM battery had been replaced about 10 years after it was manufactured, and never again. Our first plan was to set up the control box, but since our RAM battery was long dead, it simply reported a large number of errors, including being uncertain what model it was attached to. Since the robot model appears to have no semiconductors to speak of, I suspect the model number was a setting in the RAM, and bringing this robot back to full operation will require repeating some of the inital programming steps that had occured in the 1980s. Needless to say, spare TT4000SC factory programmers are in short supply. We do plan to work on the control box separately, but decided to crack open the robot case to see what was inside.

Each axis consists of a 24V motor, encoder, reduction gear box, encoder, end-stops, and linkage. After Craig was able to help us order a Japanese Airplane Electronics connector, we tapped directly into the motors:

Eventually we could design our own control boards or use OpenServo, but for today we used remote control boat ESCs, which should be good enough for getting a fruit ninja game ready for Maker Faire.