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C00002 00002 \|\\M1BDR30\M2SIGN57\M3NGR25\M4NGR20\F3\CVictor Scheinman
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\F3\C50 Roan Place
\CWoodside, CA. 94062
\F1\CJanuary 28, 1980
\JMr. J. F. Engelberger\.
\JShelter Rock Lane\.
\JDanbury, Conn. 06810\.
\J Enclosed is a copy of what was to be my final summary report to you.
Through some mix-ups last May and June, it never got sent. The original
version is in Unimation files on the West Coast Division's computer
system. This attached report is a copy saved for my files and serves to
partially summarize my overall effort at Unimation during the two and one
half years I was General Manager of the West Coast Division. Rather than
attempt to complete that report, I will jump to the present and detail my
I realize that you are not pleased with my recent decision to
leave Unimation and join Phil Villers and his new company, Automatix.
This was not a decision I made easily, as I fully realize the
possibilities I had for future work with Unimation. But on the other hand,
I am a risk taker and entrepreneur of sorts, or I wouldn't have started
Vicarm, and I wouldn't have been an original investor in Computervision
eleven years ago, or I wouldn't have bought shares in Condec four years
ago when Vicarm was a "competitor", and I wouldn't have made a deal with
you, and I wouldn't have joined Automatix.
None of these risks were blind risks. They all had both
technological and financial futures which I could understand and relate
to. It is with this attitude that I've joined Automatix. Phil Villers
has created a young, strong, competent nucleus of people I would have
hoped Unimation could have attracted. You approached one of them once-
Don Pieper [Vice President for Engineering], but he had difficulties
relating to your aging upper management and conservative image. You also
know Gordon VanderBrug, a protege of John Evans will be responsible for
robotics systems. I'll be Vice President for Advanced Systems, and will
track technology and work on a limited number of advanced development
Automatix will be in the systems business. Our goal is to buy or
license much of the components and technology we need. Only if that is
not practical, or it doesn't exist, or the deal is unreasonable will we
develop. With respect to robots, sure we'd like to license PUMA and VAL
based systems from Unimation. I've highly recommended it.\.
\J Brian Carlisle has told me that you're checking to see if there is
any conflict of interest with my venture with Automatix. I hope there
wont be, because it's not my intention to capitalize on any Unimation
proprietary information or methods. I'm working on the future. That's my
specialty- to see ahead, and make that a reality. I obviously see things
differently than you do or I wouldn't have had so much resistance from you
towards VAL on the Unimate, the 250 project, my thesis topic ideas, etc.
I can't be constrained in my thoughts and goals. I am going to stay in
California for the present. Automatix gets only part of my time. The rest
goes to my thesis work at Stanford. True, ideas will get channelled to
them rather than Unimation, but I feel I offered Unimation a chance.
Brian Carlisle knew that I was willing to consult on an advanced project
basis, but nothing came of that. Even Ted considered involving me in your
welding project, but nothing came of that either.
I understand and agree that I sold Unimation the Vicarm
technology consisting of hardware, details, drawings and knowledge. The
designs, details, and drawings are physical entities, but knowledge is an
immeasureable quantity because it's always being expanded and developed
from intangeable resources. Well, just as the Orm was original, the
Stanford arm was unique, and the MIT arm was not a copy of the Stanford
arm. I feel that you will agree that I am still creative enough to do
entirely new things in the field of robotics...and if it turns out to be a
robot of sorts, you can be sure it will again be totally new and different
because that's what challenges me and excites me.
We also had a contract based business deal, and I returned to you
many times your investment in me, Vicarm, VAL, my operation, and your long
term financial commitments to me. Condec stock is now about triple
what it was when I joined with you exactly three years ago today.
Unimation is now a profitable, respected, viable operation with a new
product line, a revamped image to existing products, and presents a modern
dynamic front to its customers, competitors and suppliers. I confidently
say that almost all of this is due to my efforts, in my capacity as
General Manager of the West Coast Div. under the terms of the Vicarm
purchase agreement, my employment and royalty agreement, and under
reasonable extensions of those terms. Although I was obligated to a
minimum of only six days a month, I gave Unimation even more than full
time to build our operation into the strongest robotics development group
Compare my output, effort, and results to your Mikros deal, your
new encoder effort, your '79 controller project, your RCA contract, your
6000 project, your Germany operation, and even the reasonably successful
Apprentice program, and you will find that there is absolutely no
comparison. In fact, compare the results of the West Coast group to any
other serious robotics effort by any other company during the last few
years and you will also find no comparison. I feel proud of my
contribution to Unimation, and to the robotics field in general!\.
\J I remember that you once mentioned to me that you invest in ten
projects, hoping one would succeed. That's pretty wild shooting, but
nevertheless my record stands for itself: PUMA, 250, Unimate controller,
a complete system, everything from top to bottom, including accessories.
All thought up, designed, developed, and produced by about ten people in
California. That's a lot closer to 100% shooting than your 10%
expectation. Even our personal cost to you as part of your agreement with
Condec has been small, because what we did on only a few hunderd thousand
dollars others would take millions to do. Just compare with the 6000
project, or the RCA system, or what Cincinatti Milacron has probably
dumped into their machine.
The fact that I did do a dedicated and consientious job of
transferring to Unimation this technology is evidenced by your product
line and your balance sheet this year. Shortly, you'll have a significant
part of Vicarm technology in everything that goes out your door.
I have enjoyed my years with Unimation. We all benefitted...and
learned. I found out that advanced systems development is my pleasure,
but daily administrative, scheduling, and political hassles are definitely
not my strength or interest. I made wise decisions, selections, and
choices, and I also made mistakes. But all in all I feel that Unimation
got good value from me, and I'm satisfied with what I got from Unimation.
Joe, you've asked me to formally notify you in writing of my
change of affiliation. Thus, to summarize the contents of this letter: I
have had two and a half memorable, enjoyable, and worthwhile years at
Unimation, but as I continuously look at the future, I hereby inform you,
as President of Unimation and my direct supervisor, of my formal departure
from Unimation to join with a new organization. I fully understand that
by leaving Unimation I relinquish all rights to insurance, retirement
plans, profit sharing, etc. normally offered to full time or part time
employees in my former position.
I do hope that we will be able to keep in touch on an amicable
basis in the future.\.
\R Yours sincerely,
\R Victor Scheinman