Playing With SPHERES in Space

©NASA

SPHERES

The free-flying robots were equipped with stereoscopic goggles called the Visual Estimation and Relative Tracking for Inspection of Generic Objects, or VERTIGO, to enable the SPHERES to perform relative navigation based on a 3D model of a target object.

In the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory, NASA astronaut Steve Swanson (left), Expedition 40 commander; and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, flight engineer, conduct a session with a trio of soccer-ball-sized robots known as the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES.

ISS040-E-079910 (25 July 2014) - Larger image

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