Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly

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Unimate 500 PUMA (1983), control unit and computer terminal at Deutsches Museum, Munich
PUMA arm at NASA

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 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. Some own Nokia Robotics products were also designed, like Nokia NS-16 Industrial Robot or NRS-15[1] . 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.[2]


  1. ^ "Nokia robotics". Fabryka robotow. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  2. ^ PUMA Robot Becomes Part of American History at the Smithsonian Robotics Online, archived on February 28 2008 from the original

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