Next Generation Canadarm to Focus on Satellite Servicing

As soon as Canada figures out how to launch rockets with maple syrup, Canadarms will be taking over in orbit

1 min read
Next Generation Canadarm to Focus on Satellite Servicing

As much as we love Canada, our northern neighbors don't exactly have a huge space program going on up there, probably because you can't launch rockets on maple syrup.

I kid, of course. You can totally do that.

Anyway, the Canadian Space Agency is probably best known for two things: Chris Hadfield, and the Canadarm and Canadarm2. These giant robotic space-arms have been flying on the space shuttle since 1981, and the latest currently serves as Dextre's lower body on the ISS. As always, we're wondering what the next generation of Canadarm is going to be like, so we were excited to see this video from the CSA showcasing their next generation Canadarm project: the "Next-Generation Canadarm Project." Mind = blown. 

There are two different arms that are part of the project: the little guy in the picture at the top of this article who has a 3 meter reach, and his big brother, with a 15-meter reach:

Despite the size, the folding and telescoping arms can stuff themselves into just five cubic meters, which is approximately the volume of a space minivan. And since more robots = better, you can stick the little arm on the big arm to make what I guess would have to be a Canadarmarm.

As the CSA quite rightly points out, there's a huge amount of space junk flying around up there, and launching satellites is expensive and (eventually) wasteful. With some friendly Canadian robots in orbit to repair and refuel and upgrade existing systems, we can keep that space junk flying just as long as we need it to.

[ Next-Generation Canadarm ]

The Conversation (0)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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