Soon, 'touchy-feely' joystick to remotely control robots from space
An new system inside the European Space Agency's next ship heading to the International Space Station is going to remotely control robots from space with particular emphasis placed on haptic feedback.
To compensate for the effects of zero-g, the joystick can be mounted to the space station or directly to the astronaut.
The feedback is going to be crucial to enable precise and complex controls of remote robots in order for human operators to use their sense of touch to perform tasks, the Verge reported.
The experimental model has been designed is way to withstand knocks and physical abuse but still provide detailed haptic feedback afterwards.
Andre Schiele, the head of ESA's Telerobotics and Haptics Laboratory, said that the resulting system would be able to produce minute forces most people are not sensitive enough to feel, but astronauts could kick it and they will still work and respond correctly.
(Posted on 30-03-2014)