Vic Scheinman

Vic Scheinman

Stanford University, CA

United States

Research Areas

Computing and Electronics, Manufacturing & Production, Mechanics

Interview Synopsis

Victor Scheinman was born in Georgia in 1942 and raised in New York City. He earned a B.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and a M.S. and and engineers degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford. He is inventor of the Stanform Arm, an all-electric, 6-axis articulated robot that allowed for much more sophisticated control for assembly and automation. In 1973 Scheinman started Vicarm Inc. to manufacture his robot arms, and in 1977 he sold this design to Unimation, who further developed it. Along with support from General Motors, this became the Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly (PUMA), which has become a staple in industrial settings. Today Scheinman continues to consult and is a visiting professor at Stanford University in the department of mechanical engineering.


Scheinman begins the interview with a discussion of his initial interest in robotics. He then explains the development of the MIT and Stanford Arms, the founding of Vicarm, and his work with the industrial applications of robotic arms, particularly with General Motors.