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ISS robot performs first ever ‘self-repair’ in orbit: Multi-limbed Dextre could spell the end for dangerous human spacewalks

Spacewalks are one of the most impressive and dangerous feats an astronaut can perform on the ISS.

Fixing critical components often involves lengthy stints outside the spacecraft, with a spacesuit acting as the only barrier between an astronaut and lethal radiation.

But this could soon be a thing of the past. The space station's Canadian robotic arm, dubbed Canadarm2, is currently attempting to fix itself without any help from a human.

Dextre, which was sent to the space station in 2008, has arms more than 9.8 feet (3 metres) in length and has  power tools as fingers. Together, Dextre and Canadarm2 make up the space station's robotic Mobile Servicing System, making this the first ever robot self-repair service in space

Canadarm2’s multi-limbed robotic helper, called Dextre, is in the process of a week-long repair job to move and fix old cameras.

Dextre has arms that are more than 9.8 feet (3 metres) in length which can attach to power tools that act like its fingers.

Together, Dextre and Canadarm2 make up the space station's robotic Mobile Servicing System, making this the first ever robot self-repair service in space.

The robots are controlled remotely from the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec, and Nasa’s Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas.

Dextre is moving a camera on Canadarm2 to the mobile base to replace a completely broken camera. It will then install a new, spare camera on the Canadarm2.

Dextre becomes the first robot to repair itself in space

The cameras are part of an 11-strong set on the Mobile Servicing System that perform surveys outside the space station.


Dextre's role is to keep the International Space Station (ISS) in working order. 

Having Dextre on call will reduce the amount of risky spacewalks, giving astronauts more time for science,

Dextre’s special skills and unique location outside the ISS offers an opportunity for space agencies to test ground for new robotics concepts like servicing satellites in space. 

The robot can ride on the end of Canadarm2 to move from worksite to worksite, or hitch a ride on the Mobile Base System.

The space handyman is currently in the process of a week-long repair job to move and fix old cameras on Canadarm2.

The astronauts' only involvement in the operation was to push the spare camera into an airlock so Dextre could grab it.

While this is the first time a robotic repair task like this has been performed, Mathieu Caron, mission control supervisor at the Canadian Space Agency, told CBCNews.Ca it won’t be the last.

‘Using the Canadarm2 and Dextre reduces the overall number of spacewalks, definitely,’ he said.

‘Spacewalks are very complex and use a lot of space station resources.

‘They monopolise astronauts not only for the duration of the spacewalk, but in the weeks leading up to it for all their preparation.’

However, Dextre has some of its own drawbacks that it still needs to overcome. For instance, it can currently only deal with ‘robotically compatible’ bolts and screws.

CSO is now working to make the system more flexible. It added that Dextre is due to replace a circuit breaker in June and to repair equipment outside the space station to prepare for some astronaut spacewalks later in the summer.

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Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2640809/ISS-robot-performs-self-repair-orbit-Multi-limbed-Dextre-spell-end-dangerous-human-spacewalks.html

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Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.

The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies. 

The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.

A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.

The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.


Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society


The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.


Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.


Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.


This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.

Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.


Key elements of the project in the future

• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.

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