After Google announced that they’re working on an experimental Android smartphone that has the capability of mapping out your entire surroundings with the help of 3D sensors, their Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division is currently trying to get a prototype of Project Tango inside the International Space Station to assist NASA astronauts.
Featuring 3D-tracking and mapping capabilities, Project Tango can be easily utilized by the astronauts through attaching it to NASA Spheres – a robotic platform that navigates the station, which can work even in zero-gravity environments.
This collaboration is confirmed by a research engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, Zach Moratto, through a Youtube video saying, “Think about having a free-flying robot that can fly around inside a space station, perhaps equipped with some type of future smartphone.”
“The spheres program aims to develop zero-gravity autonomous platforms that could act as robotic assistants for astronauts or perform maintenance activities independently on station. The 3D-tracking and mapping capabilities of Project Tango would allow Spheres to reconstruct a 3D-map of the space station and, for the first time in history, enable autonomous navigation of a floating robotic platform 230 miles above the surface of the earth.”
Recent reports said that NASA had tested working with Project Tango in a zero-gravity flight from Texas, but Google confirmed that the technology will launch into orbit starting summer.