NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn conducts the SPHERES-VERTIGO investigation aboard the International Space Station (Image: NASA)
CAD rendering of SPHERS-VERTIGO and target (Image: MIT Development Team)
VERTIGO Goggles (Image: MIT Development Team)
SPHERES-VERTIGO (Image: MIT Development Team)
SHERES inspection trajectory around target
Take the little floating ball that gave Luke Skywalker so much trouble during lightsaber practice, slap a pair of huge welder’s goggles on it and you start to get a picture of NASA’s latest foray into flying robots. Currently being tested aboard the International Space Station (ISS), MIT Space Systems Laboratory’s SPHERES-VERTIGO system is a free-flying robot with stereoscopic vision that is part of a program to develop ways for small satellites to autonomously create 3D maps of objects such as asteroids or disabled satellites.
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