An Adorable Floating Robot Is Helping Astronauts on the ISS

The new footage from Int Ball shows a first-hand view inside the ISS offering a look at the extensive equipment lining the station walls and the astronauts as they carry out different tasks. Stock image

The module was developed especially for space application, primarily satellites, and enables accurate control of the Int-Ball's movement.

There's a new camera drone floating around on the International Space Station, and it's adorable.

Japan's space agency has for the first time released photos and videos taken on the International Space Station by its resident robot drone, which can be remote-controlled from Earth. The unit was delivered to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on June 4, and it's now going through initial testing.

As JAXA stated in a release about Int-Ball: "The effective cooperative work between in space and on the ground will contribute to maximized results of "Kibo" utilization experiments".

This is JAXA's first outer space drone that can record video.

Int-Ball (which is an terrible name for something so cute) is now active in Japan's "Kibo" experiment module aboard the ISS.

The spherical space drone has twelve propellers that allow it to float to where it wants to go.

The Int-Ball, which integrates elements from drone technology such as miniaturized attitude control sensors and actuators, is now undergoing its initial verification process aboard the ISS. Enabling flight controllers and researchers on the ground to check the crew's work from the same viewpoint as the crew. Controllers on the ground can thus use Int-Ball to see things from a crew member's perspective, which could help when overseeing complicated work. The device can move virtually anywhere inside the module, and record images from any angle.

JAXA says it's working on developing Int-Ball's performance and automation to the point where it can take over all of the astronauts photographic responsibilities.

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