The International Space Station is crewed by more than astronauts nowadays – NASA activated a free-floating autonomous robot called ‘Bumble’ earlier this year, and now Bumble has a new friend called Honey. Both are Astrobee robots, cube-like “robotic teammates” for ISS astronauts, which are designed to help with experiments, everyday exercises and more.
These two robots are indistinguishable in all respects, however, Honey highlights yellow accents while Bumble has blue for the purpose of visual identification. Honey will, in any case, need to experience testing before it’s completely prepared to begin its work vigorously, yet it will profit by its similarity to Bumble – the previous robot has just mapped the interior of the Space Station’s Kibo module, which implies that Honey won’t begin without any preparation since it’s gotten that mapping data via a software update.
This robotic duo will soon become a trio since a third Astrobee called ‘Queen’ was delivered to the ISS in July and will go online after Honey is up and running. This is not really the only example of space-based autonomous robotics in use, however, it is an intriguing model on the grounds that these robots are designed to work nearby human astronauts and offer their space while working on their own, untethered in a zero-gravity environment.
In the long run, NASA trusts that robots like these will have the option to not just make astronauts more proficient in their work by giving assistance and dealing with a portion of their present workload, yet additionally be endowed with the support of spacecraft and stations when there’s nobody on board by any stretch of the imagination. Astrobee and its inevitable successors could be the key to setting up more permanent human presence in orbit around the Moon and past.
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