This project produces drones that can work on the International Space Station. These drones will be customisable via an interface suitable for teaching robotics in schools. School-designed robots and tested robots can be 3D printed in space and run as part of STEM outreach. This project is cheap to run for schools. In space only a few 3D printed parts are swapped out between jobs or school outreach events.

This project is solving the Robots Robots Robots challenge.


We're aiming to create a flexible set of tools that can achieve many goals: robotics education, fast testing of prototypes, research, zero-G lab-work automation.

We've produced a small, inexpensive "squid" robot with swappable, easily customised 3d printed parts. Configurable options include the number of tentacles, the angles of the two articulated joints in each tentacle, fins and fans for propulsion through the air, and magnets for walking across flat metal surfaces.

Using a web interface suitable for use in schools, children can design and visualise their own custom version of the robot. The design is then 3d printed and assembled on the International Space Station. The children can see video footage of their robot in action, as well as a "Robot Cam" feed from a camera mounted on the robot itself.

This project is an economical way to do STEM outreach. The core robot is made from inexpensive, easily sourced motors and servos. The custom parts require only a small amount of plastic to feed to the ISS's 3d printer and a small amount of time to assemble. Many designs can be assembled and tested quickly for maximum benefit to a large number of schools.

Project Information

License: GNU Affero General Public License 3.0 (AGPL-3.0)"

Source Code/Project URL:


Animated gif of 4-legged robot -
Animated gif of 6-legged robot -
Screen shot of prototype web front end -


  • Christine Patton
  • Glen Searle