See the video above? Well, if you are wondering what it is, here’s your answer. Actually, it is an animation video. The Canadian Space Agency hopes that this will be the first successful self – repair Mobile Servicing System aboard the ISS. This mobile servicing system consists of a group of numerous robots which can perform difficult tasks on their own. Also, the robots can be combined into a large unit to make things much easier.
Recently, there was an addition to the servicing system: Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. It is also called Dextre. When you look at it, it reminds you of a human torso with two huge arms. It is a contribution from the Canadian Space Agency to the station. It was set up on the station in the year 2008 to carry out tasks that would usually require space walks. In the year 2011, Dextre completed its first official assignment. While the human crew aboard the ISS was sleeping, Dextre was used to unload 2 pieces for the Kounotori 2 transfer vehicle.
Dextre is skilfully constructed so that it can be easily moved to various work sites around the Space Station and can be seized by the Canadarm2 robot. This way, it can function from the maintenance site all by itself and the Canadarm2 can be used for other activities. When Dextre and Canadarm2 are combined, they will form something like a super robot.
For example, one of the cameras on the Canadarm2 is faulty and is broadcasting foggy images. Dextre will fix this when Canadarm2 grabs it. Then, Dextre will be placed in a way in which it can remove the camera that is faulty. So, the faulty camera will be ascended to the mobile base component of the Mobile Servicing System.
When this happens, the ISS crew will receive a new vantage point of a less critical location. Then, the human crew on board the ISS will place a new camera module in Japan’s Kibo module’s transfer airlock.
After this is done, Dextre will again reach the new camera module and replace the faulty one. If this is successful, then the Mobile Servicing System can prove to the world that it has the ability to repair itself and can lead the way for more self – repair missions.