Space Robotics

NASA Still Working on the Remote

Posted 6 Jun 2006 at 21:24 UTC by steve Share This

Longtime readers may recall our coverage of NASA's Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA), a little flying robot designed to look like the Jedi training remote from the first Star Wars movie. With no light saber training on the schedule, NASA plans to use the remotes for such exotic tasks as remote controlled webcams and a WiFi bridges for the space station. A similar NASA project is back in the news, according to a NASA news story. This time in the form of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) project. The new gizmo is a joint project by NASA and MIT. Like the PSA, it's modeled on the Star Wars remote, though they now claim it's called a "floating battle droid". The purpose of the SPHERES sounds a bit more practical than the PSA as well. The SPHERES will be used to test autonomous formation flying algorithms that will be used on larger robot spacecraft. The MIT site includes lots of photos of zero G testing of the new robot.

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