NASA's New Flying Robot Gets Its First Hardware Check in Space

21 Mai, 2019, 13:27 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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The agency recently completed its first hardware checkouts for Bumble (above), one of three Astrobee robots that will research automated caretaking aboard the International Space Station. The devices are created to operate in the space lab's unique microgravity environment, offering assistance to the astronauts located on the ISS.

The system is actually a trio of robots, named Honey, Queen, and Bumble, which are propelled by electric fans and can return to their docking station to recharge their batteries.

As with their counterparts on Earth, astronauts can benefit from robots created to take over certain tasks that would otherwise use up precious time better suited for complex tasks. Now the first Astrobee robot has undergone hardware tests to check whether its subsystems, including avionics, cameras, propulsion, and docking for power and data transfer, are working correctly.

When needed the robots will be able to return to their docking station on their own and recharge their battery power, the U.S. space agency said in a statement.

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In its most recent update on the robotic assistants, NASA shared an image of astronaut Anne McClain performing the initial series of tests on the Astrobee robot named Bumble. The system includes three robots and a docking station for the bots to refuel. The tests were performed in advance of the full launch of the robots later this spring.

NASA's new robot is getting ready for work. This will allow astronauts to concentrate on the more important tasks. And hopefully, increase astronaut productivity and help maintain spacecraft when astronauts are not present near the Moon, Mars or other deep-space outposts.

The robot and one of its companions, Honey, flew to the station on April 17th.

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