The International Space Station (ISS) will be home to two additional guests as from May. The US premier space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), plans to send off two of Google’s Project Tango phones along with other stock to the ISS through an Orbital 2 mission.
NASA is getting more and more serious about creating independent robots that will fly within the walls of the ISS and outside them. By getting project Tango devices on board, NASA hopes that Google’s technology will help make the mission successful. You are probably asking yourself how!
It is worth remembering that the Android powered device pegged as the project Tango phone employs a 4 MP camera, motion tracking technology and sophisticated software to produce 3D images of an actual space while the handset is moved around in real-time. Simply put, those devices which are embedded with elaborated processing chips acquire a “human-like understanding of space and motion” which represents an excellent opportunity to boost NASA’s big project.
Currently, the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley is the main operation theatre. NASA has already attached a Tango smartphone to ‘Sphere’, a robot development platform as big as a soccer ball!
NASA is not at its first attempt to create smart robots. Back in 2012, for the Shuttle mission STS-135, the space agency employed a Nexus S along with ‘Sphere’ but Google’s innovative phones vow to uncover more possibilities like landing smoothly on an asteroid!
Source: engadget, pcworld
Image (NASA): ‘Sphere’, NASA’s robot development platform