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Japan's Cute New Space Robot Brings Us One Step Closer To HAL 9000

It wouldn't hurt us, just look at its little face.

18/07/2017 15:52

While robots down on Earth are revolting against their human masters, another robot has just started a PR mission in space.

This is the Int-Ball which is essentially a tiny drone that will now spend its days aboard the International Space Station as a remote camera.

JAXA

Created by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and made entirely out of 3D-printed parts, the adorable little bot is capable of effortlessly gliding around the zero gravity environment thanks to 12 directional fans.

Int-Ball’s job will be to film, document and act as the eyes and ears of the team down on the ground as astronauts aboard the ISS go about their daily tasks.

Capable of autonomous flight as well as manned flight (through remote control), Int-Ball can move freely around the station using a special navigation camera that maps the environment around it.

A main camera is then able to take pictures or record video of experiments. Japan’s space agency believes that by using Int-Ball astronauts will be able to save 10 per cent of their working time as they themselves would have to document all the experiments manually.

The hope is that in the future the little robot will be able to actually play a more active role in station life from actively assisting with repairs both inside and outside of the space station.

To help reinforce the idea that this robot won’t be taking over the world anytime soon its designers have also given it two large glowing eyes.

Hal-9000 is probably still a few years away if this bot is anything to go by.

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