This Cute New Space Drone May Take Over Some Astronaut Duties

This Cute New Space Drone May Take Over Some Astronaut Duties

This Cute New Space Drone May Take Over Some Astronaut Duties

With the Int-Ball in operation, however, this time could be cut to nearly zero percent.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has for the first time disclosed images and movies taken by the JEM Internal Ball Camera calledInt-Ball its first camera drone that can record video while moving in space under remote control from the ground.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have a new crew member-an adorable robotic ball capable of recording video while moving in zero gravity. The unit was delivered to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on June 4th, and it's now going through initial testing.

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The spherical space drone has twelve propellers that allow it to float to where it wants to go.

Images captured by Int-Ball are beamed to people on the ground in real time, allowing scientists to efficiently collaborate with ISS astronauts on projects. Currently, photographing processes take up roughly 10% of the onboard crew's working hours.

As JAXA stated in a release about Int-Ball: "The effective cooperative work between in space and on the ground will contribute to maximized results of "Kibo" utilization experiments".

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The Int-Ball was delivered to the Japanese module "Kibo" on the ISS in early June.

The circular drone uses existing drone technology and is enabled by a package known as the Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module. The device can move virtually anywhere inside the module, and record images from any angle. Called the Int-Ball, the drone shoots photos of the crew and their activities, freeing up the astronauts to do other work. The robot drone also has a built-in camera that looks for pink "3D Target Markers", which remind it where it is positioned.

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