Posted 17 April this year on Board the International space station compact flying robots-Cuba project Astrobee began to pass its flight tests in microgravity. As reported by the space Agency NASA, the debut flight of the robot “Bumble” in zero gravity, on 14 June 2019. The Agency reminds that on Board is also a second robot named “Honey” and the arrival on the ISS, the third “Queen” is expected in July of this year.
The main objective of this system of complex robots will be to test their capacity for work on Board the ISS, but in the future, NASA is considering the use of such robots when performing daily routine tasks that will free the crew of the ISS from easy, but frequent actions. In addition, such machines can be very useful for missions into deep space – the moon and Mars. Here, by the way, the name of the project Astrobee – “Astrophel”.
30 April 2019 Anne McClain NASA astronaut unpacked the crate with the robot “Bumble” and with the support of a team of NASA project Astrobee, conducted a review of all auxiliary systems of the robot avionics, cameras, propulsion systems as well as data transfer and recharging his batteries.
In mid-June in microgravity aboard the International space passed the first flight test of the robot “Bumble”. The video can be viewed below.
Technical features of robots project Astrobee
Developed robots experts the Ames Research center of NASA. Specifications compact robotic assistants the following:
- The size of each robot is 30х30х30 centimeters;
- The outer casing of the case is covered with soft material. It minimizes potential damage when hitting the robot on any object or element on Board the ISS;
- Robots are very versatile. Each is equipped with a capture system and bracing items with a folding arm that will allow you to grab and move objects from one end station to another. In addition, using the same clips the robots are able if necessary to fix its position, clinging to the railings, or other elements of station interior;
- For charging on the ISS has a special docking station. It also serves to analyze telemetry data;
- Unable to move only on the ISS and only in modules where there is an atmosphere, since their motion in zero gravity is thanks to the fans (installed on each side of the cube) that capture and throw the air via nozzles 12 in the opposite movement direction. For this system is an internal computer installed on each robot;
- The operating system use Linux. However, the module that is responsible with the task of moving objects inside the station operates on the Android platform. This will allow you to quickly extend the functionality of the system;
- Each robot is equipped with: basic navigation camera with a field of view of 116 degrees, multiple HD cameras with auto focus and capable of transmitting information to Earth in real time and the CamBoard Pico Flexx, which allows the machine to recognize objects and obstacles up to four meters;
- Can work both autonomously and via remote control.
Charging station robot
Functions and tasks of robots Astrobee
- Support crew. The routine tasks that the ISS crew could focus on solving more important issues: conducting experiments and various scientific researches;
- Inventory, documentation of experiments, the monitoring of ISS systems, monitoring air quality, moving cargo on Board the station;
- Maintenance of the ISS modules, when they have no personnel or in places where the crew can quickly get;
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