We did it ! Sub-millimeter task from Space
On tuesday, 8th of September we did it !
Astronaut Andreas Mogensen placed a metal connector in a receptacle that had a mechanical tolerance to the connector of only 150 micro-meters. That is 0.15 millimeters. He performed this task not from the vicinity, but remotely - from space, a signal travelling distance of 160000 km away! Andreas wasn't trained to perform this task. Actually, he had never seen the robot before, nor his graphical user interface that he used from on-board ISS on a tablet PC with touch-screen. Our software was so intuitive that he managed to complete that high precision task within his first experiment run! It took him 45 minutes then. Surprisingly much for us... but looking at the data post-experiment, we noticed why..
Instead of having had a round-trip communication time delay in the task of approximately 850 milliseconds, the delay had jumped up, halfway through the experiment, to a total of 12 seconds!! He still managed to do the haptic connector mating by using force-feedback. As far as we know, we're the only team in the world so far, that has managed to do this. Even the 850 milliseconds were a world-record, but now, we've accidentally dones this with a delay that is more than 14 times more !! So we are proud and this experiment gives important insight on what can actually done...
Humans could operate robots from Earth on the far side of the Moon, for example, - then remote-controlled from Earth. Setting up a telescope there? Bring it on!
Read more about INTERACT here: Interact
You can also see the recorded live-stream on our Youtube channel here!
Stay tuned for more ground-breaking robotics technology demonstrations...