A robotic mission to save the Hubble Telescope will launch in 2007 if the funding can be approved. A Canadian company, MD Robotics(1), which was involved in the 1993 repair of Hubble, has a two-armed robot known as the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (artist conception pictured) which is being considered for the task of installing new batteries and motion-controlled gyroscopes for the telescope.
A flight-ready "Dexter" is already completed and ready to be used for repair work on the International Space Station. "It's not a question of whether it will work, it's a question of whether we can build a copy of it in time to be able to contribute to saving the Hubble," Paul Cooper of MD Robotics told the Associated Press(2).
The robot, which can be controlled from the ground, has seven-jointed arms which end in "hands" that can work with a variety of tools, and are said to be able to touch and feel, not unlike a human.