Source: The post is based on the article “NASA robots work together for the first time on International Space Station” published in Indian Express on 28th July 2022.
What is the News?
For the first time ever, two Astrobee robots have begun working independently on the International Space Station, side by side with humans.
What is Astrobee?
Astrobee is NASA’s new free-flying robotic system.
Purpose: The robots are designed to complete tasks such as taking inventory, documenting experiments conducted by astronauts with their built-in cameras or working together to move cargo throughout the station.
– It also consists of a system that serves as a research platform that can be outfitted and programmed to conduct microgravity experiments.Thus, it will help to learn more about how robotics can benefit astronauts in space.
Three Flying Robots of Astrobee: The three free-flying robots are named Honey, Queen, and Bumble. The robots are shaped like cubes 12.5 inches wide.
– The three robots propel themselves using electric fans that allow them to fly through the microgravity environment of the International Space Station.
– They “look around” and navigate their surroundings using cameras and sensors.
– When they are running low on charge, they can automatically return to their docking station to begin recharging.
Based on: The Astrobee robots are built on the knowledge acquired from operating SPHERES (Synchronised Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite) robots which have been operating on the International Space Station for over a decade. Once fully commissioned, the Astrobee system will take over for SPHERES as the space station’s robotic test facility.