Smart Spheres project manager
Google smartphones with next-generation 3D sensing technology are about to blast into orbit, where they will become the brains and eyes of ball-shaped hovering robots on the
The phones, part of
Inspired by a scene from the movie Star Wars where
"We wanted to add communication, a camera, increase the processing capability, accelerometers and other sensors. As we were scratching our heads thinking about what to do, we realised the answer was in our hands," Smart Spheres project manager
They bought phones at
Looking to improve the robots,
The Project Tango handsets include a motion-tracking camera and an infrared depth sensor similar to
"This type of capability is exactly what we need for a robot that's going to do tasks anywhere inside the space station," Provencher said. "It has to have a very robust navigation system."
Google wants the technology showcased by Project Tango to become ubiquitous, helping retailers create detailed 3D representations of their shops and letting gamers make their homes into virtual battlegrounds.
It also teamed up with LG recently to launch a Project Tango tablet to encourage developers to experiment with its features.
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