Playing AstroDrone. – ESA
NOORDWIJK, The Netherlands, â€” A free ESA app released Friday turns a popular iPhone-controlled â€˜home droneâ€™ into a spacecraft. The augmented reality game lets owners of Parrot AR.Drone quadcopters attempt dockings with a simulated International Space Station while flying their drones for real â€“ in the process helping to improve robotic rendezvous methods.
This new AstroDrone app is part of a scientific crowdsourcing project by ESAâ€™s Advanced Concepts Team, gathering data to teach robots to navigate their environments.
â€œPeople intuitively assess their position and motion in relation to their surroundings in various ways, based on what they see before them,â€ explained team research fellow Guido de Croon.
â€œThis new app lets us crowdsource examples of this process in practice, as a first step to reproducing it with artificial intelligence.