The Falcon 9 Securing Robot, universally known as Octagrabber, is the name given to two robots that operate on SpaceX’s droneships, ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ and ‘Just Read the Instructions’.
The Octagrabber robots have four arms and tracks. After a booster landing, the robot is remotely driven out of its blast-protected garage and positioned underneath the booster. It uses four arms to then attach itself to the Falcon 9 octaweb, securing the whole booster for transit. Recovery teams still have to board the droneship to perform other post-landing tasks but the robot allows for a safer and more efficient recovery process.
Before the Octagrabber robot was used, recovery crews would have to board the droneship after a launch and manually secure the booster. To do this, four support stands are placed underneath the booster and mounting points are welded to the deck of the droneship. Chains are then connected between the two and tightened, securing the booster.
This method is still used as a backup system in the event that Octagrabber cannot be used.