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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

AstroDrone iPhone App

March 16, 2013

A free ESA app turns a popular iPhone-controlled ‘home drone’ into a spacecraft. The augmented reality game lets owners of Parrot AR.Drone quadcopters attempt dockings with a simulated International Space Station while flying their drones for real — in the process helping to improve robotic rendezvous methods. This new AstroDrone app is part of a scientific crowdsourcing project by ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team, gathering data to teach robots to navigate their environments.

credit: ESA / Guido de Croon