By Andy Choi
In order to design an innovative user interface this semester, the students at the Academy of Art University Industrial Design study will partner with the California- based NASA Ames Research Center.
The user interface will therefore enable future astronauts in space to operate a robot on Earth remotely. Following the selection, the thesis level students will implement their combined design skills to accomplish the project. The project encompasses brainstorming, storyboarding, ideation, sketching, rendering and task analysis. The outcome of students’ efforts will contribute to fabricating the user interface elements such as glyphs, icons wireframes. The team has initiated work on product design, apparel and interior architecture. Furthermore, the team is discovering the potentials for more design disciplines.
During NASA project, the students will craft storyboards in order to demonstrate the potential wherein astronauts in space, using robots can operate on the ground. Further initiatives by the students include creating paper prototypes, applicable displays, sketches and graphical elements for the astronauts. The university students will have an exchange program with the NASA students, this semester.
In the existing scenario, the performance of astronauts from space is limited. This new approach represents the remote functions of robots from spacecraft in orbit for ground operations. Robots are capable of performing intricate tasks that are sometimes beyond human capability. Exploration to the Mars, moon, and other space destinations has ample future potentials.
NASA will perform an experiment in summer 2013 that will demonstrate the remote operation of "K10" mobile robot by astronauts on the International Space Station. At the NASA Ames Research Center, the astronauts will deploy K10 to represent a simulated radio telescope on an outdoor terrain, followed by capturing of images through robot's cameras, and calculations using robotic instruments.