This device will not shine your shoes. Nor will it fix up your hair. In fact it’s a prototype asteroid cleaner, that’s been specially designed to help collect dust and debris in the far-flung reaches of our solar system.
Developed by Added Value Solutions for the European Space Agency, the device overcomes a problem that we don’t have to think about too much here on Earth: Low gravity. If you use a drill or scoop to collect a sample on a low-gravity asteroid, it’s possible to push yourself away form the surface. Instead, this devices uses three sets of rotating brushes that sweep dust into a central, hermetically sealed storage container. It will gather 113g in 20 seconds.
The device is going to be tested on a series of parabolic flights where it will be tasked with sweeping up debris from microns to centimetres in size. If it does well, it may one day make it into space.
Image by Added Value Solutions