NASA is no stranger to crowdsourcing, and its latest project involves asking members of the public to help it design what it's calling the Astrobee — a robot that will fly around on the International Space Station.
More specifically, NASA wants people to help design a robotic arm for the robot, which it will use to interact with the space station and the environment therein. If you're interested in helping out, you can register at the Freelancer.com posting.
This isn't the first free-flying robot NASA has put on the ISS. In fact, such robots have been there since 2006 as part of NASA's Spheres project. The Astrobee will basically roam around the ISS cabin and use its sensors to inspect the station or use its cameras to film the astronauts working aboard the station.
It's important to note that NASA is working on its own design for the robotic arm, but it wants to see what other people can come up with as well.
The contest is already open for entries, and participants have to register by filling out a survey that explores their academic merit and how much time they can devote to the project. Eventually, NASA will select 30 people to go on to complete the given task. Each will get $10, along with a finalized breakdown of everything they need to give to NASA at the end of the project. The finalists who fulfill these requirements will get $100 each, but there's no word just yet on how much money the winner will get. It's also not certain if NASA will actually implement any of the winning designs.
Previously, NASA ran a number of competitions on Freelancer, including one asking users to create smartwatch apps that astronauts could use on the ISS and for logo designs for various new projects.
Via: The Verge