The free-flying robot is designed to record astronauts and help with research without creeping out the crew

Later this year, NASA will send a new worker to the International Space Station.

Astrobee is an autonomous, free-flying robot designed to navigate the ISS, record astronaut activity and serve as a research platform for zero-G robotics experiments. Building a robot meant for space here on Earth has its challenges, but the real challenge for Astrobee might be working with its human overlords, both on the ground and 254 miles above it. The robot needs to be an asset to ISS crew without getting in their way, crashing into anything important or, crucially, making the astronauts feel watched. That’s a lot to ask of a little cube, but scientists and engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center are making sure Astrobee is up to the task when it departs for the ISS this summer.

Video credits: 

Videography & Production: Elie Khadra

Split-screen video courtesy of Stanford University ASL and BDML

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