[TriEmbed] Student robotics and running code aboard the ISS

Charles West crwest at ncsu.edu
Tue Jun 29 21:19:01 CDT 2021


It's basically the same as quadrotors, only way easier.  You have all of
the same tools, you just don't have to worry about falling.

Regarding where it would fly, it would be a relatively small cubby on the
ISS (with air).  Currently, I am wondering if it would make sense for
people to do something like a programming camp around it.  You would learn
to program the drone in simulation using python scripts (or other frontend)
and at the end of the program you would get to upload your code to the
drones on the ISS and see how you did (camera view from drone + side cames
+ state estimation).

You could have different challenges, such as docking or maybe 3d soccer
with multiple drones.

On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 8:41 PM Carl Nobile <carl.nobile at gmail.com> wrote:

> I wonder how they do it with Ingenuity on Mars?
> Though I don't think gravity has much to do with an accelerometer.
> Acceleration is acceleration anywhere. Air density is the bigger issue, but
> it can't be too low for the astronauts.
>
> On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 8:29 PM Jon Wolfe <jonjwolfe at anibit.com> wrote:
>
>> accelerometer-based flight stability would be an interesting challenge in
>> microgravity.
>>
>> On June 29, 2021 7:44:59 PM Carl Nobile via TriEmbed <
>> triembed at triembed.org> wrote:
>>
>>> Hey Charly,
>>>
>>> Any drone would only need directional and proximity control, but not
>>> lift.
>>> So my first question is, where would they actually fly these drones? In
>>> the ISS itself? They certainly couldn't in space.
>>>
>>> ~Carl
>>>
>>> On Mon, Jun 28, 2021 at 10:14 PM Charles West via TriEmbed <
>>> triembed at triembed.org> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hello!
>>>>
>>>> I'm talking with Nanoracks about putting some free flying drones in a
>>>> compartment on the ISS.  One of the big uncertainties is whether or not
>>>> people would be willing to pay for being able to fly something there.
>>>> There's been some fairly popular free (but restricted access) programs with
>>>> free flying drones on the ISS (SPHERES, Astrobee) so I am hoping that there
>>>> would be sufficient interest to at least break even.
>>>>
>>>> The latency is fairly high (500-1000 milliseconds), so direct control
>>>> probably wouldn't be that fun.  That said, I was thinking it might be a fun
>>>> thing for student coding competitions.  My current idea for pricing is that
>>>> it would be $50 for a 10 minute slot, with student code running on a
>>>> virtual machine on the drone.  Users would also have access to a simulation
>>>> of the environment and get video recording/tracking of the drone as it
>>>> performed their code.  It would also be possible to rent out multiple
>>>> drones for a higher rate, if you wanted to do something fancier or get a
>>>> discount if other drones were able to operate at the same time.
>>>>
>>>> Overall, it would be pretty cheap for a "do something cool using code"
>>>> sort of thing since the cost for a slot is roughly on par with an arduino
>>>> kit.
>>>>
>>>> If I may ask, what do you think?  Would it be popular?  Would you do
>>>> it?  Any idea how I could get proof one way or the other?
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Charlie
>>>>
>>>> P.S.
>>>> The drones would have to fly in an opaque compartment, since NASA is
>>>> really weird about anything taking pictures of astronauts.
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>>>
>>> --
>>>
>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Carl J. Nobile (Software Engineer)
>>> carl.nobile at gmail.com
>>>
>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>>
>
> --
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Carl J. Nobile (Software Engineer)
> carl.nobile at gmail.com
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
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