Maxar said Monday it will test and provide its approximately six-foot-long robotic arms within a three-year timeline.
The arms will run on a single motor with a tensioned cable system that transmits torque across joints. The approach is intended to reduce the robotic system’s weight.
Altius Space Machines, a subsidiary of Voyager Space, will provide the MagTags magnetic latching connector and a corresponding tool changer for the robotic system’s prototype. Meanwhile, SRI International will provide expertise in underactuated arm systems and offer its electro-adhesive technology for the robot’s satellite gripping.
“Robotics will play a key role in humankind’s further development of space, and Maxar looks forward to leveraging our commercial space manufacturing expertise to support these initiatives,” said Robert Curbeam, senior vice president of space capture at Maxar.
Maxar’s Pasadena, California-based team will produce the prototype, following the same group’s work on previous robotic arms such as the one on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover.