Fun & Games Robotics

I just had a major “the future has arrived” moment when I saw this video, taken aboard the ISS, of three spherical robots doing precision formation flying in zero-g. Note that the video embedded above is clearly time-lapsed–they’re not actually moving that fast. Here’s another video (with inevitable Strauss soundtrack) that shows two of the bots orbiting each other at closer to actual speed. They maneuver using compressed carbon dioxide. It’s all part of MIT’s SPHERES project. [via BotJunkie]

6 thoughts on “Floating spherical robots dance in space

  1. I actually liked the astronaut/cosmonaut zipping by in the background. That was the first video that I’ve seen in the ISS that made me feel like I was seeing what it’s like up there. Probably due to the decided lack of an astronaut “on camera” as they usually are. “here I am doing this…” etc.

    I suppose it’s hard to just relax and be yourself when every little thing is analyzed and so very, very public.

    Anyway, the robots are really cool too of course. Hope they accelerate auto docking/maneuvering development, that’s likely to be key for future exploration efforts.

    1. Hah! I thought the same thing!

      It’s just a video of a day in the life of the space station, also there are some robots.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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