The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has sent a dual remote controlled/autonomous robot to the International Space Station.
According to report, the robot will help crew members with various tasks by replacing the need for them to take pictures.
The drone named “Int-Ball,” is a spherical camera droid that takes full advantage of the gravity deficiency on the space station to zip around unencumbered by wheels or arms attached to heavy machinery.
The Japanese agency said the robot has big, blue, owl-like eyes, making it reminiscent of the top portion of the Eve robot from Disney’s Wall-E.
Furthermore, the int-Ball’s purpose is to provide crew members with a means of sending pictures and video back to Earth so experts on the ground can better assist with repairs and other tasks.
Prior to the invention of the drone, the crew members needed to handle a camera to send this media back to Earth.
The droid, which can be controlled remotely or autonomously, gives crew members back their full functionality by taking the camera out of their hands.
Meanwhile, the JAXA has expressed its great effort to continue its commitment to improve the Int-Ball’s capabilities and functionality.
Experiments like this will likely help space agencies and private companies to innovate new ways of incorporating both remote controlled and autonomous robots into their missions.
According to some space experts, replacing human astronauts with robots and other automations will help to further drive down the dwindling costs of space exploration and travel while allowing for exploration in ways that are beyond human capability.