Smart SPHERES project manager Chris Provencher demonstrates one of NASA's robots at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California July 2, 2014. REUTERS/Noel Randewich
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Google smartphones with next-generation 3D sensing technology are about to blast into orbit, where they will become the brains and eyes of ball-shaped hovering robots on the International Space Station.The phones, part of Google's Project Tango augmented reality initiative, will be aboard a cargo spacecraft scheduled to launch on July 11 .Looking to improve the robots, NASA recently turned to the experimental smartphones Google created to encourage innovation in its push for consumer mobile devices that can make sense of space as easily as people do.NASA's phones have been split open so that the touchscreen and sensors face outward when mounted on the robots.
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