NASA shares image of smiley floating robots that live on the International Space Station

There is not any scarcity of sci-fi robotic companions – Luke Skywalker’s robotic buddies C3PO and R2D2 and Jimmy Neutron’s robot-dog Goddard come to thoughts. 

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have some real-life robotic buddies.

Astrobee and Project CIMON are two initiatives to develop robots to assist house crews function in zero gravity.

Astrobee, designed by NASA, is a gaggle of three cubed-shaped robots that can fly round the ISS, grip pipes to stabilize themselves and have cameras for “seeing” their environment. 

The set of three robots are aptly named Queen, Honey and Bumble as they’re “busy bees” aboard the ISS, finishing up easy duties like taking inventories to scale back the burden on the astronauts.

Astrobee’s robots will be operated by hand by groups on Earth or be programmed to work autonomously.

Queen, Honey and Bumble changed an current group of floating bots and function an improve on the ISS.

SPHERES, the first group of flying bots aboard the ISS, have been deployed in 2006 and have been put to make use of for over 500 hours alongside astronauts.

One of the aspirations for Astrobee is to design software program superior sufficient that the robots can manage spacecraft upkeep on Gateway, the unmanned house outpost set to launch in 2024.

It’s a lofty purpose as the ISS has never been vacant in its 22-year historical past and is reliant on people.

Meanwhile, the German-funded Project CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile companiON) has developed an identical robotic that’s barely extra humanoid.

Cimon responds to verbal instructions from astronauts and has an LCD display for displaying the bot’s “face”.

Like the Astrobee bots, Cimon can propel itself about the station and full primary assignments in service of the astronauts.

Both the first and second generations of Cimon have been dropped at the ISS by Elon Musk’s house journey firm SpaceX.

Part of Cimon’s initiative is to assist astronauts cope with the isolation that comes with being in house – in spite of everything, everybody the astronauts know reside miles under them on Earth.

Astronauts can speak to Cimon the means that Earth-bound people speak to an Alexa or Siri – whether or not that’s conversing or accessing the pc’s database of data.

Floating robots are carving out a particular area of interest aboard the ISS, working to function an astronaut’s right-hand robotic.

This article initially appeared on The Sun and was reproduced right here with permission.

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