We think of flying as escaping gravity. How could it be anything else, when vehicles leave the ground and soar through the sky? It’s much more complicated than that, and it turns out that low gravity doesn’t necessarily make for easier flight. So to get a drone that works in space, NASA issued a challenge. The winner is a quadcopter that can also crawl on the walls of a space station and grab objects with its mechanical arm. Charming!
Without gravity to direct it, the “Arachnobeea” needs sensors placed in the space station. When it gets near a sensor, it suddenly knows where it is, and can orient itself accordingly. Since objects in space tend to remain in motion, as designed the drone can use vacuums, small gripping hands, or its main claw.
Watch the Arachnobeea in simulation below: