Astrobee, an innovative robotic mechanism, experienced its first hardware tests. This system has a significant role in decreasing the time wasted by astronauts on regular everyday duties. Recently, it was examined to help specialists to determine whether its subsystems are functioning accurately.
Anna McClain, a NASA astronaut, first performed the hardware test of Astrobee. The International Space Station did, on 15 February, host the installation of the docking station in the Kibo module. Bumble and Honey, two associate robots were lofted in space on April 17, aiming the space station.
According to NASA, these robots that are to be in charge of the spacecraft’s maintenance while the astronauts are not present inside will play a vital role in the Moon landing that has been already planned, as well as in other significant missions.
How does the Astrobee system work?
Honey, Queen, and Bumble, which are three robots, along with software and a docking station that has the purpose of recharging the mechanism, build up the Astrobee system. These robots will have the ability to maneuver themselves quickly, and even return to the station in order the get charged when the batteries get low.
These robots will provide great help to the astronauts, increasing their productivity by taking over some of their responsibilities. They can be managed through remote control, but can also function independently. The fact that they will have cameras, microphones and other sensors implemented will truly help specialists to keep a close eye on the conditions.
When will it be done?
They have been built in a very flexible, innovative way. At one foot per side, the cubic robots have an artificial arm implemented, that will give them the ability to grab things around. Moreover, they allow the person who maneuvers them to add more accessories if there’s the need to.
However, this complex structure is yet to be fully launched, and further checking will be done before the lofting of the two robots, which is planned to take place later this spring.
Bo has over six years experience as a teacher, advocate and speaker. He has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Human rights from Harvard University Graduate School.