NASA’s new flying robots for the International Space Station
“Propelled by electric fans, the robots can fly and navigate autonomously inside the space station using their built-in software and six cameras. Designed to assist astronauts, softly humming as they go, the Astrobees will do housekeeping chores, such as monitoring equipment and performing inventory, freeing up valuable astronaut time for research work or other tasks.
The robots can fly solo, going about their business independently or they can be managed by astronauts or flight controllers. Equipped with cameras, a microphone and other sensors, they provide flying “eyes” and “ears” that will allow flight controllers to remotely monitor conditions and remotely perform work on the station from the ground.