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SpaceX has been caught developing a thin flat robot to drive out on the ASDS deck and grab a landed stage. Some are calling it the SpaceX Roomba (Xoomba?) others are campaigning for the name Attitude Adjuster (Since that is a Ian M Banks ship name like OCISLY and JRTI). Octograbber may end up being closer to real, but I like Xoomba.

People watching the barge from shore have caught lots of photos of it in testing on the OCISLY ASDS barge.

Xoomba on deck

They even built a hangar for it on OCISLY with a garage door to protect it during landing.

Xoomba to scale

Musk had tweeted usage was a few months out. When will we see the first use of the rocket grabber?

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Seems like on the BulgariaSat-1 launch, the booster landed hard and used up the emergency crush core in the landing legs. This is the design case for the Xoomba, to provide extra support to a rocket that might need it. (Also to allow securing the stage, before crew get on board, perhaps in bad weather).

Photos of OCISLY coming into Port Canaveral with the stage on deck clearly show the white Xoomba at the base.

Bottom white thing is the Xoomba

Xoomba holding a stage

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    $\begingroup$ Nice photos - watching the livecasts of the barge landings it's all too easy to forget how big a machine it is, that those spindly-looking struts are as thick as a man. $\endgroup$ – Tom Goodfellow Jun 29 '17 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ And the Xoomba is freaking huge! $\endgroup$ – geoffc Jun 29 '17 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ Hopefully Xoomba has been introduced to the three laws. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 30 '17 at 2:09
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Hmm, it sat through at least one other launch, so by inaction it allowed harm to a previous stage, so I guess not. $\endgroup$ – geoffc Jun 30 '17 at 2:18

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