JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
The Int-Ball was delivered to the Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station, on June 4, 2017, aboard SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon capsule.
(JAXA's Int-Ball Drone video)
The device uses existing drone technology, but its interior and exterior parts were manufactured through 3D printing. The goal of Int-Ball is to reduce the time the crew spends on photography — which currently amounts for 10% of the crew's working time — to zero.
Int-Ball also allows ground workers to check footage in real time, and gives them the ability to see things from the on-board crew's point-of-view. It "will contribute to maximized results of 'Kibo' utilization experiments," according to JAXA, so the device is both cute and helpful.
In 1999, MIT engineering Professor David Miller showed the movie Star Wars on the first day of class. During the scene where Luke Skywalker practices his light saber against a seeker remote, Miller stood up and said "I want you to build me some of those."