NASA Langley showed off its seven-ton, two-story robotic arm named ISAAC (Integrated Structural Assembly of Advanced Composites) on Monday, one of merely three of its kind in the world.
ISAAC is a $3 million system specifically designed to transform 3-D computer drawings into lightweight, precisely made, super-strong spacecraft components.
The robot utilizes spools of carbon fiber blended with epoxy – gliding along a track in order to develop the parts, all while pivoting, hovering, reaching, and retracting in an efficient manner.
In fact, ISAAC is equipped with a large, detachable, disc-like head capable of holding up to 16 spools of various types of carbon fiber ribbons.
The ability to hold these various types of carbon fiber ribbons, in addition to having the detachable head, allows ISAAC to easily and swiftly swap between materials and change heads for a completely different function.