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Who says video game systems are good for nothing?

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posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 07:45 AM
Surrey Satellite Technology LTD, is turning to the Microsoft Xbox to develop a new microsatellite system. The STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) used technology from a smart phone. It is a 10x10x30cm box, with four 10x30cm solar panels. It was designed to show that a satellite could be built quickly from off the shelf components.

For the STRaND-2, Surrey is turning to the Xbox 360 Kinect system. They will build a pair of satellites, using the system, that after launch, will separate, scan the area around them, and then use the Kinect spatial recognition software to dock together again.

While many parents are understandably quick to criticise computer games as mindless time wasters with a narcotic grip on their offspring, engineers at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) see in the latest addition to Microsoft's Xbox system a shortcut to resolving several conundrums of spacecraft design.

Xbox's Kinect add-on is a chocolate box-sized three-camera system that detects and analyses gamers' movements and translates them into control instructions. Inspired by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who used Kinect to help a model helicopter achieve autonomous flight, SSTL's Shaun Kenyon wondered if this off-the-shelf capability could be used in space.

Specifically, Kenyon and University of Surrey lecturer Chris Bridges, who are working together on a project to build a shoebox-sized "cubesat" around the electronics in a standard Google Android smartphone, wondered if they could harness Kinect's situational awareness capability to allow two cubesats to autonomously dock and undock in orbit.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 09:15 AM
No offense but if they go with the Xbox 360 then they will get the red ring of death eventually. I went thru 2 of those god damned things. Finally switched to a PS3 and have been good ever since.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

The kinect is turning out to be a real gem for alternative uses-Love the mini satellite idea,could make for some cheap communications-maybe even your own personal satellite!

Have you also checked out the kinect/dslr hologram project?
Not sure if its a proper hologram,or just looks that way on screen..
Cool though:

and a link for the software:
Edit-Ah it is only on screen-but its really cool I think.

edit on 8/6/2012 by Silcone Synapse because: sp

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 03:36 PM
I read something like this a while back where they used a bunch of PS3s to make a one super computer. i guess they made it to simulate the creation of galaxies.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 03:47 PM
reply to post by HawkeyeNation

The Red Ring's only happened to the first generation of 360 hardware, which when sent in for replacement by Microsoft, were typically replaced by more first generation hardware. The 360 "Elite" also used Microsoft's first gen 360 hardware at its core even though it was released a year or two later.

I only had one RR on me, I ate the cost and purchased a replacement that wouldn't rinse and repeat.

The newest Xbox 360S doesn't (so far) suffer these issues, and if Microsoft is still producing the Plain style 360, they should no longer be using the first-gen bits.

As for the topic, joke or no, this really shouldn't be surprising; game consoles are computers just like any other, they're just more specialized.
edit on 6/8/2012 by eNumbra because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 03:51 PM
the PS3's main CPU is light years ahead of the xbox360. So far ahead that developers initially had a hard time coding for it.

That being said. Yeah. NASA's going to be crashing a lot of capsules into the ISS when the eventual Red Ring Of Death happens. They'll be calling NASA going "Uh Huston we've got a problem, I think Mr. Murphy is a stow away!"

posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 04:53 PM
reply to post by BASSPLYR

Actually, you can pick any Sony system and say it was difficult to develop for it. The PSP, PSVita, PSX, PS2 and the PS3. The problem with Sony is not their hardware but their software. The toolkits they provide are terrible and makes life a lot harder than it should be. Obviously you make your own toolkit with your own game engine (unless you're renting a license) to make matters easier but you still have to deal with the problem that cell technology was never developer-friendly.

As for the other comment, yes -- many organizations and corporations were using the PS3 to create hardware arrays to simulate data and it was very problematic for Sony. They realized that their hardware was being purchased without the need of games and that wasn't a profitable model considering they would lose about $300-500 per console sold at the time so they banned Linux and a few other things for those reasons.

As far as "off-the-shelf" satellites and rockets is concerned, do any of you remember how PS2's were used for guidance systems in rockets?

Well, if it were me, I would use an N64 because at least it would be able to survive just about anything, from solar storms to crash landing on Earth.

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