Armatron

As we all know, the 80s were all about computers, robots, and other cool, new-fangled ways to be tech-geeky.

And there, smack in the middle of our favorite decade was Tomy’s (via Radio Shack) entry into the gotta-have-it toy game… Armatron.

And no, we don’t mean Armitron–– the cheesy, K-Mart-grade watches.

Armatron was a plastic robot arm that swiveled back and forth and up and down, with a claw that could open and close and rotate. Pretty sweet.

If there was, say, a marble sitting on your kitchen table, and you just didn’t have the energy to reach out and pick it up with your fingers, well… Armatron to the rescue! A couple quick flicks of those snazzy orange double-joysticks, and presto! The marble wasn’t such a nuisance anymore.

(We kid, of course… but when it came down to it, that’s pretty much all that Armatron could do.)

Later versions included the Super Armatron (which, near as we could figure, was just the same as ‘Regular’ Armatron, just with ‘Super’ on the label) and Mobile Armatron, which came complete with a tethered remote and the ability to move your robot arm around on its base.

These days, we can look back at just how silly it was, but we like to think that somewhere there’s an MIT engineer developing some kind of wicked-cool robotics system, after first being inspired as a kid by that ridiculously primitive, plastic robot arm.

We ♥ Armatron.

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~ by weheart80s on February 7, 2012.

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