The SPHERES robots now on the space station are prototypes. If the 3D mapping navigation capability works as hoped, it will be part of the production version of the devices.
"There would have to be some kind of design changes to make it fully autonomous," said Provencher. "Right now, the SPHERE is used for testing, not tasks. The idea is to let the free-flying robot have purpose and be useful by letting it freely roam throughout the space station."
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