I always wanted one of these when I was a kid. Luckily, my best friend back then was an only child, so he got pretty much anything that he wanted - including one of the Armatrons.
This later version in the Armatron family is more than a robotic arm that can pivot on three joints plus an opening and closing claw. It includes a wired remote control with about six feet of ribbon cable from which you can control all of it's functions. Seems to me that that would be easy enough to hack. Then, couple that with the fact that the whole thing is on a controllable mobile base and you have the beginnings of a cool computer controlled robot.
Year Released: 1986
Dimensions: 8¾" x 6½" x 10½" with 18½"
Click Here to Download the Super Armatron Owner's Manual