Feeds

Space Station lightsabre-sparring hoverdroids to be upgraded

ISS mini-globes get tractor beams, crowdsauce greasing

SANS - Survey on application security programs

In further Star Wars-themed international space station (ISS) news, it has emerged that not only is the orbiting space base soon to be equipped with a robot named "R2", but that its complement of small, spherical hoverdroids - not unlike those famously used by Luke Skywalker aboard the Millennium Falcon for light-sabre sparring - are to be upgraded and covered with crowdsauce.

The three hovering robots are known as SPHERES units (Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, and Reorient Experimental Satellite) - the last part of that being quite correct. Although the small globoids are confined to operations inside the space station, they are of course in their own orbits about the Earth while flying freely, and as such are classed as satellites.

The little machines propel themselves using jets of compressed CO2, and navigate using an ultrasonic system. They were designed by MIT engineering students as part of the so-called InSPIRE programme (International Space Station SPHERES Integrated Research Experiments), intended to stir up enthusiasm for technology among America's youth by offering them the chance to write code and design hardware add-ons for the SPHERES droids up in orbit.

By now, given the general vibe of the project, it will come as no surprise to regular Reg readers that the InSPIRE/SPHERES space station globotumblebot plan comes from DARPA. DARPA is the famously erratic Pentagon tech-dominance bureau, occasionally apt to let considerations of military usefulness slip its corporate mind in the excitement of finding, let us say, a young woman strapped down under a mysterious krenon-ray machine capable of turning her into a hugely powerful mutant gorilla - or, as we have here, scope to play with small hovering robots deployed inside an actual functioning space vessel.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.