April 19, 2014

NASA Sending Google's Project Tango Smartphone to Space to Improve Flying Robots

An experimental NASA robot could get a big upgrade thanks to Google. The two parties have been working together to integrate Google's Project Tango smartphone prototype — which can detect and map the world around it using a series of sensors — onto NASA's SPHERES — brightly colored, volleyball-sized robots designed to float around the International Space Station and assist astronauts. Right now, the SPHERES can perform basic navigation inside of a limited section of the ISS by using ultrasound and detecting infrared light, but using Tango's more detailed detection methods, NASA hopes to let the robots explore more of the station and navigate entirely on their own.

 

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