1. Jonathan

    Jonathan Drone Expert

    Aug 31, 2013
    Drone Aerial Photographer
    There have been numerous innovative designs for drones that can operate safely in a human environment, with propellers or propulsion systems located inside nacelles, inside an outer cage or otherwise out of reach of human hands that can be injured.

    JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, has created such a drone for use in one of the most safety critical environments ever created, the International Space Station.

    The Int-Ball has its brain - CPU, navigation computers and gyros etc, inside a cube-like box that sits at the center of a grapefruit sized sphere. From the central cube wires link up to 12 ducted fan style motors located around the surface of the outer sphere. The drone also has a navigation camera and is able to video the goings on inside the space station.

    Obviously, being on the space station required less power to move around as the drone will be practically weightless in this environment, but this design is what we should expect to see as the future of our more Earth bound drones.

    Astronauts aboard the ISS spend a lot of their time, approximately 10%, simply filming what they and others are doing, be it undertaking repairs, exercising or conducting experiments, to beam the footage back to Earth for further analysis. It is hoped that the Int-Ball Drone, or multiples of them, will be able to take over this task. Furthermore, it is hoped that future generations of these Oblivion style drones will be able to inspect supply levels and report or even repair system failures - in other words, they will be an effective team.

    Cue terrible cheesy cutesy music!:
  2. Dava

    Dava Active Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    Walrus polisher.
    Wow the resemblance is kinda freeky!

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