[robotics-worldwide] Astro Drone: a robotic crowd sourcing app

Guido de Croon guido.de.croon+astrodrone at gmail.com
Fri Mar 15 07:36:28 PDT 2013

*The Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency has created an
iPhone game called the "Astro Drone" app. People who possess a Parrot AR
drone can play the game, in which they are challenged to perform different
space missions in an augmented reality. The first release contains a
training level, in which players will learn to dock as well as possible to
the International Space Station.

However, as mentioned above, the iPhone app is more than a game. Players
can choose to participate in a scientific crowd sourcing experiment that
aims to improve autonomous capabilities of space probes, such as landing,
obstacle avoidance, and docking. If participating, the app extracts
visually salient features from the images made by the drone's camera. The
features are then combined with the estimates of the drone's state and
uploaded. The data is used in a research aiming to improve robot navigation.

The Astro Drone app can be downloaded for free at the Apple store (

Full story at: http://www.esa.int/

Support site: http://www.astrodrone.org/

Have fun!

Guido de Croon

Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence
Advanced Concepts Team
European Space Agency

Astro Drone team:
Paul K. Gerke
Ida Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper
Guido de Croon (guido.de.croon+astrodrone at gmail.com)

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