The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has for the first time disclosed images and movies taken by the JEM Internal Ball Camera calledInt-Ball its first camera drone that can record video while moving in space under remote control from the ground. Excitingly, JAXA has just released the camera-bot's first images and videos from the ISS.
Another Int-Ball objective is enabling researchers and flight controllers on the ground to visually assess the crew's work in space from the same viewpoint, allowing for better cooperation between space and ground teams in what JAXA calls an "effective cooperative" effort.
The cute robot, which integrates both internal and external 3D printed components, is created to operate in a zero-gravity environment, and it is reportedly able to move "anywhere at anytime via autonomous flight".
Int-Ball was sent to Japan's Kibo, a laboratory and the largest module on the ISS, in June. The Int-Ball's central camera enables the device to take images and videos of the ISS. Realizing "zero" photographing time by the onboard crew in the end, which amounts to about 10 percent of their working hours at present.
Gif shows the Int-Ball in action.
Numerous components used to to manufacture Int-Ball were produced by 3D-printing, and its design was adopted from pre-existing drone technology.
In the future, says JAXA, the Int-Ball will be able to check supplies and even help with onboard problems - though the details of how that will be accomplished by a limbless orb of cuteness are not yet known. We can't wait to see what other images and footage the 3D printed Int-Ball captures from space.