The robot with tentacles that can catch, manipulate or repair objects such as other ships or satellites

Space tentacle of the Changchun Institute. (photo: 20Minutes)

Escape from a spaceship and manipulate objects space It is one of the most dangerous missions faced by astronauts. But in addition to repair and maintenance tasks, there are other tasks such as intercepting and handling satellites or space debris that cannot be done by humans and require robotic arm tools.

However, China‘s Changchun Institute has created robotic tentacles that can be connect to spaceships because they are flexible, powerful and extremely precise.

These tentacles can be used to repair and manipulate objects such as spaceships or satellites Y collect space debris. Although they are also capable of capturing and destroying enemy satellites.

This is not the first time we have seen robotic arms attached to spacecraft, in fact, the International Space Station you already have three of them.

Robotic arm of the International Space Station.  (photo: Eureka)
Robotic arm of the International Space Station. (photo: Eureka)

But none of the designs is as complex as the one the Changchun Institute research team published in the national peer-reviewed journal Robotics, the South China Morning Post reported.

Those responsible for the creation of this device, the team from the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, They mentioned the following: “Making repairs in a complex space environment costs a lot of human and material resources. The hyper-redundant modular manipulator is an effective solution to this problem.”

How the robotic arm of Changchun Institute works

Each arm, the researchers explained, It is 1.5 meters long and consists of nine segments that work independently.

Each has its own set of actuators, motors, sensors, and processors that are controlled by artificial intelligencewhich allows them to share energy and coordinate to make the necessary movements to complete the assigned task.

The team claims have successfully tested this robot in the lab. In their tests, they performed tasks such as exploring unknown territory, asking them to identify gaps, getting into tight spaces, and quickly adjusting body segments to avoid contact with obstacles.

Robot of a Space Tentacle of the Changchun Institute.  (photo: The Third)
Space tentacle robot. (photo: Changchun Institute)

Despite these arms are capable of generating 190 Newton meters of torque, nearly double that of 1200cc Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the researchers also found that robots are capable of performing more complex, precise and sophisticated tasks such as write letters with chalk on a blackboard or push a ball without breaking it.

It is not known when this robot will begin to be used in space, but the researchers they plan to change some of its components to carbon fiber to optimize your weight.

Space tentacle robot.  (photo: Changchun Institute)
Space tentacle robot. (photo: Changchun Institute)

The space robot is capable of manipulating satellites and destroying rocky bodies

There has been a lot of controversy lately about a similar system capable of grabbing and crushing satellites like a trash compactor. US military experts do not trust China’s official version, which says that his technology of space robots was developed for peaceful purposes and make sure they are weapons designed to intercept and destroy enemy satellites.

Chinese experts consulted by the South China Morning Post assure that the new robot created by researchers from the Changchun Institute it has enough force to wrap around the satellite like a snake and crush it to destruction.

Space tentacle of the Changchun Institute.  (photo: The Confidential)
Space tentacle of the Changchun Institute. (photo: The Confidential)

Even so, they consider it unlikely that it is a space weapon. These weapons are often not published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, the Changchun Institute says. And furthermore, according to them, such military technology will have a different design and characteristics.

On the other hand, the China National Space Administration shared a new space exploration program this month, which includes a plan to develop “new forms of space economy”. One of the objectives of this plan is turn space debris disposal into a profitable business within five years.


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