The self-contained SPHERES robots (Image: NASA)
The SPHERES robots are designed for upgrading (Image: NASA)
A pair of SPHERES' undergoing testing (Image: NASA)
NASA astronaut Mike Fossum and one of the Smart SPHERES' (Image: NASA)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, Expedition 38 flight engineer, conducting a session with a pair of SPHERES' (Image: NASA)
If you want to know how big the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is at present, the answer depends on whether or not you’re counting the robots on board. Some of the non-human residents will soon be getting smarter, with NASA announcing that the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) robots currently on the station will later this year get a new smartphone. The increased capability of the soon to be Smart SPHERES is designed to help transition them from engineering testbeds to workaday companions that can take over some of the duties of the station astronauts.
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