Dextre is one “killer” robot
by Mark R
I’m surprised that no one on this site has covered this yet. After all, NASA’s repair robot Dextre has got to be one of the coolest gadgets ever made.
The Dextre robot is designed to repair the International Space Station with a lot less risks to the astronauts. Instead of an astronaut going out in space in a suit and oxygen, they just send out the robot. Kind of like R2D2 during his introduction in The Phantom Menace.
You can’t really tell how big it looks from the picture, but Dextre is actually about twelve feet long with eleven foot arms. Even with all of its…bigness, Dextre can still manipulate objects smaller than half a fraction of an inch.
Astronaut Richard M. Linnehan compares the Dextre with a Star Wars prop, but I have to admit that the Dextre is better than anything George Lucas imagined for Episodes I, II, or III. It’s nice to know that science has finally built something that is cooler than science fiction.
Normally, I end my articles with a price and availability date. Even though I can think of several uses for Dextre in my own house, I don’t think NASA will mass-produce them. I also don’t think I can shell out $219 million for one, which is the approximate cost for this one.