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An Armatron
Hand detail

The Armatron is a toy robot which was made by TOMY and distributed by Radio Shack in the United States since 1984.[1] It consists of a crane-like arm which picks up small objects by the user manipulating two attached joysticks. Its shape resembles industrial robots of the 1980s, though it is strictly user-controlled, with no automation built in.

The original fixed version was succeeded by a mobile version with a wired remote. It includes an "energy level" indicator (actually a countdown timer) and a series of objects such as boxes and spheres designed to be manipulated by the arm. Models with alternate decals or coloring were marketed under slightly different names, including the Super Armatron and the Armatron II.

The original Radio Shack Armatron came with a module pack of items to be lifted and moved. The Module pack consists of a Flat Module, with 2 cones and 2 globes as well as a "closed module" which also have impressions of the cones and globes on it as a second platform for the objects to be moved to and from.

Movement of the arm is almost purely mechanical; the only electronic component is the motor. The two joysticks selectively engage or disengage gears on a set of rotating drums to control the arm's movement.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hawkins, William J. (1984-03-01). "What's new in Electronics". Popular Science.

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