The International Space Station (ISS) took
delivery today of another piece of Canadian technology, the Robotic Work
Station (RWS). Developed by MD Robotics, a subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler
and Associates Ltd. , under contract to NASA, the RWS is the control
system that astronauts will use to operate Canadarm 2, the new Canadian
robotic system designed to build and maintain the Space Station. Two work
stations were launched today on-board STS-102, one to be mounted in the U.S.
Lab Module and the second later in the Cupola.

This highly integrated system provides camera views and sophisticated
computer commands to control the movement of Canada’s new 17-metre, dual ended
robotic arm. The RWS can automatically detect the arm’s movement and process
information relative to the arm’s position and task, to ensure safe operation
and handling of payloads.

“Developing this complex system to provide a seamless interface between
man and machine has produced some pretty remarkable technology,” said Chris
Woodland, Director of the Mobile Servicing System program at MD Robotics. “Now
the focus is to provide management and engineering services to maintain the
integrity of the system while on-orbit, and apply the technology to
terrestrial opportunities.”

MD Robotics, as the prime contractor to NASA, developed the RWS and was
responsible for integration of the system. Major team members include its
parent company, MDA of Richmond, B.C., and EMS Technologies of Ste. Anne de
Bellevue, Quebec.

In February, MD Robotics delivered the mission critical software for the
robotic system. Now, with the RWS in place, the International Space Station is
ready for the April arrival of the next generation robotic arm, Canadarm 2,
also developed by MDA. The final two components of the Mobile Servicing
System, the Mobile Base and Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, are
scheduled to be launched in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

MD Robotics developed the Mobile Servicing System, Canada’s contribution
to the International Space Station, under contract to the Canadian Space

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