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Bon Voyage, Dextre!

Samuel Bouchard
by Samuel Bouchard. Last updated on May 05, 2016 5:14 PM
Posted on Nov 03, 2008 12:03 PM. 2 min read time

Dextre Robot

Dextre the robot blasted off today for the International Space Station. This two-armed torso will be placed at the end of Canadarm2 where “he” will conduct station maintenance. You can follow this masterpiece’s deployment on the STS-123 Mission Site and in the media in the coming days.

Dextre may eventually wear Self Adaptive Robot Auxiliary Hand (SARAH), developed at Laval University’s Robotics Laboratory. The Canadian Space Agency and MDA, manufacturer of Canadian space manipulators are currently testing versions of the hand. This hand is the predecessor of the Robotiq Adaptive Gripper.

With this announcement, I repeat my wish that this technology remain Canadian and not be sold. We have all paid for this expertise with our taxes. Right now, no other country has as much experience in space robotics as Canada. But for how much longer? We cornered this niche. The private sector built the Canadarm, but the Agency provided all funding. Now that the technology is mature, we must capitalize on this to build an entire industry around space robotics, not sell it off!

[Photo: Canadian Space Agency]

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Samuel Bouchard
Written by Samuel Bouchard
Samuel is CEO and co-founder of Robotiq. His mission is to free human hands from repetitive tasks. He is also the author of Lean Robotics: A Guide to Making Robots Work in Your Factory. He lives in Québec City with his wife and four children.
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