Robots
Representational ImageWikimedia commons

Over the years NASA has discovered that trying to remotely control robots in space is no easy task, that's why it has teamed up with Sony and PlayStation VR to create Mighty Morphenaut, a project that will train human operators using Sony's PlayStation VR to control a "humanoid" in the space environment.

According to alphr.com, the virtual reality experience could feasibly work with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift too. Mighty Morphenaut demo simulates a space shuttle and lets the human operator understand how the robot navigates its environment and completes tasks.

"The hope is that by putting people in an environment where they can look around and move in ways that are much more intuitive than with a mouse and keyboard," said Garrett Johnson, software engineer at NASA's JPL in a report by RoadtoVR. "[Using VR] would require less training to understand how to operate the robot and enable quicker, more direct control of the motion."

Given the distances involved, the project figures on using "ghost hands" via Vt that immediately respond to the operator while the robot's hands follow later. This will enable the operator to ascertain the lapses in movement due to lag, according to an IANS report.

Watch the video here.

The project also acclimatises operators to the issues of time delay between Earth and the International Space Station. Operators say that it is still awkward in terms of being actually able to grasp objects in zero gravity. "With time delay, anticipating the motion of a floating object makes it nearly impossible to interact, so further research might include ways to help users predict that kind of motion," said a NASA expert.

Given the distances involved, the project figures on using "ghost hands" via Vt that immediately respond to the operator while the robot's hands follow later. This will enable the operator to ascertain the lapses in movement due to lag, according to an IANS report.

NASA believes that, instead of a simulation, PlayStation VR will be able to provide a live feed to a robot in space, complete with "ghost hands" to indicate movement delay.

NASA has long been working on the project, creating dexterous humanoids which can aid and eventually replace humans in space.

These humanoids can take control over dangerous tasks that humans on the International Space Station (ISS) have to perform themselves.

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