Results tagged “SPHERES”

Playing With SPHERES in Space

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.

SPHERES in Space

In the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory, NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, Expedition 37 flight engineer, conducts a session with a pair of bowling-ball-sized free-flying satellites known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES.

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 August 2013

New Status: Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) Zero Robotics (ZR): Following last Wednesday's successful practice run, today Flight Engineer (FE)-3 Cassidy and FE-6 Nyberg conducted the competition finals event with a live student audience.

Progress and Future of MIT SPHERES

A presentation was made recently at the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Working Group Telecon titled "SPHERES Overview" by Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero, MIT SPHERES Lead Scientist. SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) provide researchers with a long term, replenishable, and upgradable testbed for the validation of high risk metrology, control, and autonomy technologies for use in formation flight and autnomous docking, rendezvous and reconfiguration algorithms.

Space Droids Calling

Secondary-school students can play the ultimate robot game: the annual Zero Robotics tournament turns the International Space Station into a playing field for European students to control minisatellites with self-developed software.


"NASA Headquarters has a requirement for support services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and the execution of specific Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-requested technology development and science experimentation based on the unique SPHRERES facility onboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA Headquarters intends to purchase these services from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sole source. MIT Space Systems Laboratory is uniquely qualified to perform these supporting services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and to enable the execution of specific DARPA-requested technology development and science experimentation because they created the SPHERES facility and hold proprietary ownership of the date. MIT has proprietary rights to the software components of the SPHERES facility and is uniquely qualified to integrate the Universal Docking Ports (UDPs) and Robotic Arms, and to expand the software components to enable this hardware to be used both by DARPA researchers and Zero Robotics Competition." More

Robot Spheres in Zero-Gravity Action

"A squadron of mini satellites on the International Space Station will wake up this Friday to obey remote commands from students across Europe. Up until now the students have run their code in a virtual world, but this Friday the high-school finals will be held using the real thing: robotic droids on the International Space Station. This year's RetroSpheres scenario involves using the Spheres, which move using jets of compressed gas, to push simulated space debris out of orbit. Six alliances made of European finalists from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal will confront each other and see their computer code operate robots in space for the first time. ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers will provide commentary from ESA's space research and technology centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands, as NASA's Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn set up the games on the Station. Over 130 students will be at ESTEC with Andre to learn more about robotics and run their code on the Spheres floating in the Space Station." More

SPHERES Zoom Around the Space Station

Photo: Zero Robotics (SPHERES ZR) Flying Inside the Space Station

"Two bowling-ball-sized free-flying satellites called Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites Zero Robotics (SPHERES ZR) are pictured during a test session in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station."

SPHERES operates inside the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). As shown in the diagram below, we've defined a JEM coordinate system with X forward, Y starboard, Z toward the deck, and the origin in the middle of the module. For our test, Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum velcroed the smartphone to the -X face of the sphere and placed the sphere at the origin of the coordinate system. From a laptop, he ran a program on the sphere to translate it one meter to +X and back to center, one meter to +Y and back, and one meter to +Z and back. Then the sphere made a full rotation about each of the X, Y, and Z axes.

Students Write Code For Space

Students Across the US Write Code to Control Zero Gravity Satellites on ISS

"Twenty seven teams of high school students from across the United States competed in the Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge which took place at MIT in Cambridge, MA and aboard the International Space Station (ISS) this week. "Team Rocket" from River Hill High School, Maryland, "Storming Robots" from Storming Robots LLC, of New Jersey and "SPHEREZ of Influence" from Rockledge High School, Florida posted the best cumulative score out of 9 multi team 'alliances' seeing their code tested in space by real astronauts."

Bot Battle in Space

Spheres Final Robot competition in Zero-gravity

"School teams from Europe and America have been commanding robots competing in the Spheres ZeroRobotics tournament in space. The arena: 400 km above Earth on the International Space Station. Student teams could send a single piece of instruction software to control the small robotic 'Spheres'. The goal of the tournament was to earn points through masterful operation via guidance and navigation control algorithms as well as choosing the best tactics to win the game."

« Previous  1  Next »