ESA ISS and “shake hands” with joystick by remote robotics




Wednesday shook an astronaut aboard the International Space Station using a tele-robotics specialist on the ground in the Netherlands. The astronaut tested a joystick which should make it possible for astronauts to “feel” remote objects

It writes the ESA on its site. The astronaut Terry Virts shook at 21:10 Wednesday through Haptics 2 spaced by André Schiele, a specialist in tele robotics. A blog describes the precise actions in detail. The joystick is identical in both places, and every move is exactly copied between both locations.

The feedback from the joystick is adjusted so that the users can feel the power of the other to pull or push. The test is not just running. The goal is eventually astronauts in orbit to get Mars in a spacecraft and that they can operate that way robots on the surface. For robots so precisely to serve the astronauts should be close to Mars because it takes about twelve minutes from the earth before a radio signal is sent back and forth and that makes not exactly a feeling of interaction.

The test was Wednesday to check whether the communication, the technology to control the joysticks and software all worked well and work as expected. Each signal had to make a path between the ISS and the headquarters of the ESA-ESTEC in Noordwijk, about 36,000 kilometers through another satellite above the earth and the Houston Mission Control Center in the United States. That lasted for up to 0.8 seconds.

The ISS itself takes 28,800 kilometers per hour around the Earth, causing the end of the communication is constantly changing. The system is designed to automatically correct for that constant minor differences in time. In addition to the joystick in the ISS had Virts a screen with real-time video with an arrow thereon which added augmented reality to the whole: the arrow indicated what was the direction and the magnitude of the force.

The next test will be a blind test to see whether it is possible different objects made of foam to keep them apart in order to see if a man who is in the space, as can feel a difference in the stiffness of an object. This is important for sophisticated tasks in the future.

The following experiment is planned for September this year. Another project still in progress, Haptics-1 has been shown that people torsional stiffness and otherwise experienced. That means people power and combinations of position and power through their hands and arms differently experienced in space than on the ground. That’s very important to understand how someone will feel something and will experience.

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