bots IN BRIEF
DEXTRE IS PUMPED!
In addition to Opportunity and Curiosity, there are
some other awesome robots from NASA. For example,
one that pumps gas, and one that digs dirt.
Dextre is one of these awesome bots who recently
successfully completed a test refueling of a mock
satellite on the exterior of the International Space
Station. What's most important about this test is that
the mock satellite that Dextre refueled was designed
not to be refueled at all. With a few very pricey
exceptions (like Hubble), satellites are not designed to
be serviced, but Dextre showed that it could use tools
to crack open normal satellites and pump fuel into
In this latest set of operations, Dextre removed
two safety caps, cut through two sets of thin retaining
wires, and finally transferred a small quantity of liquid
ethanol into the washing machine sized module. The
latter maneuver was particularly tricky, since handling
liquids in space requires perfect precision to prevent
dangerous leaks. The specialized tools built for the job
allowed Dextre to seal the connections between the
tool and the fuel valve to eliminate the possibility
of leaks. Contributing to the level of difficulty was
the fuel hose itself, which adds additional forces
that tend to pull Dextre's hands. It took the
combined skills of the experienced NASA
and CSA robotics controllers to pull off
this first-of-a-kind space refueling
demonstration successfully and without
Here's some Lynx specs:
• Weighs 60 kg, can haul 60 kg.
• 13 hour run time; 3. 5 hour recharge time;
autonomous recharging on dock.
• Turning radius of zero degrees thanks to
• Maximum speed of about 4 mph, or
0.0000000056 light speed.
• Programmable voice and audio prompts.
• Optional joystick for shenanigans.
LYNX — THE “UN”ROBOT
This is Lynx — a brand new mobile
robot from Adept. It's designed to move stuff
from one place to another without having to worry
much about what people or things may be in between.
Lynx is a self-navigating Autonomous Indoor Vehicle
(AIV) designed for dynamically moving material in challenging
environments that may include confined passageways, as well
as dynamic and peopled locations. Unlike traditional
autonomously guided vehicles (AGVs), Lynx requires no
facility modifications — such as floor magnets or navigational
beacons — saving users up to 15% in deployment costs. Lynx
includes Adept's proprietary software and controls, allowing
it to intelligently
people and unplanned
obstacles that render
incapacitated. Lynx can be
programmed and functional within a day. Designed for
developers, integrators, and end-users, the system can be
customized for a variety of applications and payloads.
22 SERVO 03.2013