Video games help NASA control robots, rovers

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It may not seem like the serious interplanetary science being done by NASA and the entertainment provided by video games would have much in common, but a team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that, more and more these days, the two go hand in hand. During the Penny Arcade Expo this weekend, a team from NASA told a packed audience of video game enthusiasts that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is not only using game technology to help the rest of us earthlings get an up close look at the latest mission to Mars, but it’s also using game tech to better control NASA’s robots and rovers. In fact, Jeff Norris, manager of the Planning and Execution Systems Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, says he believes video games are key to how humans will explore space in the future. “We are using the technology behind games and games as a platform themselves to really revitalize and change the way we are exploring space and sharing it with everyone,” Norris said.