Smart Spacewalker: European Robotic Arm (ERA) Ready for Space Station [Video]

The European Robotic Arm (ERA) will be launched to the International Space Station together with the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module, called ‘Nauka’. ERA is the first robot able to ‘walk’ around the Russian segment of the Space Station. It has the ability to anchor itself to the Station and move back and forward by itself, hand-over-hand between fixed base-points. This 11-meter intelligent space robot will serve as main manipulator on the Russian part of the Space Station, assisting the astronauts during spacewalks. The robot arm can help install, deploy and replace elements in outer space

ERA is 100% made-in-Europe. A consortium of European companies led by Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands designed and assembled it for ESA. The robotic arm is largely funded by the Dutch government.

European Robotic Arm Into Motion

Infographics with the launch sequence and launcher details for the European Robotic Arm. Credit: ESA

The European Robotic Arm is the first robot that can ‘walk’ around the Russian part of the International Space Station. 

ERA has a length of over 11 m, and can anchor itself to the Station in multiple locations, moving backwards and forwards around the Russian segment with a large range of motion. Its home base will be the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, also called ‘Nauka’.

Astronauts will find in the European Robotic Arm a most valuable ally – it will save them precious time to do other work in space. 

The crew in space can control ERA from both inside and outside the Space Station, a feature that no other robotic arm has offered before. 

European Robotic Arm Smart Spacewalker Specs

Smart Spacewalker: The European Robotic Arm specifications. Credit: ESA

100% made-in-Europe, this intelligent robotic arm consists of two end effectors, two wrists, two limbs, and one elbow joint together with electronics and cameras. Both ends act as either a ‘hand’ for the robot.

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