Dextre, the International Space Station's Robotic Handyman

Banner of Dextre

Launch: March 11, 2008
Status: Active

The most sophisticated space robot ever built, Dextre is a space handyman with a mission: keep the International Space Station (ISS) ship-shape. Dextre's role is to perform maintenance work and repairs like changing batteries and replacing cameras outside the ISS.

Having Dextre on call reduces the amount of risky spacewalks to do routine chores, thus giving astronauts more time for science, the main goal of the ISS. Dextre's special skills and awesome location also offer a unique testing ground for new robotics concepts like servicing satellites in space.

Dextre can ride on the end of Canadarm2 to move from worksite to worksite, or simply hitch a ride on the Mobile Base.

A sophisticated new vision system for Dextre

A sophisticated new vision system for Dextre. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, Neptec.) More information about new vision system for Dextre

Dextre tests NASA's International Space Station Robotic External Leak Locator (IRELL)

While riding on the end of Canadarm2, Dextre will move to various locations on the ISS's exterior, using the IRELL tool to scan the cooling system to detect traces of ammonia. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)