BALL-E: International Space Station Gets A Cute Little Autonomous Camera Drone

July 19, 2017


This is a shot and a video of the 'Int-Ball' camera drone sent to the International Space Station by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It's just so cute it's hard to imagine I'm about to smack it out of an airlock with a wiffle ball bat.

At the core of the Int-Ball, which measures 15cm in diameter, is a three-axis control unit. The cube-shaped brain converses with 12 fans positioned near the surface of the robot, which adjust its position in zero gravity. A navigation camera looks out for pink "3D Target Makers," which serve as reference points on board the ship. The recording camera, meanwhile, is located between the two eyes so that astronauts can easily identify what it's looking at.

According to JAXA, space station rangers spend as much as 10% of their time with cameras in their hands, and the autonomous Int-Ball will help reduce that, so astronauts can spend time with more important things in their hands. "Hopefully alien tits." Exactly what I was thinking.

Keep going for two videos.

Thanks to James and hairless, who wants to know whatever happened to all those Kickstarters for selfie drones that work here on earth. They took my money and ran, didn't they?

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