European Robotic Arm (ERA)

Important contribution of ESA to the International Space Station (ISS). The ERA is a space robot that independently controlled manually or maintenance work can be carried out.

  • Status: Completed
  • From January 2007 until December 2013
  • ERA • Design Project

To design a robot that can perform maintenance on the outside of the space station independently or controlled manually. This can shorten exhausting and dangerous spacewalks by astronauts outside the ISS or at least limit those to a minimum.


The European Robotic Arm (ERA) will soon form a crucial part of the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS). The intelligent robot arm, with a total length of approximately eleven meters, has the appearance of a compass and can ‘walk’ around via sockets on the outside of the ISS.

Contribution HIT

Heemskerk Innovative Technology supported contractor Dutch Space (now known as Airbus Defence and Space) in the ERA project in the field of System Engineering.