JEM Internal Ball Camera taking a video
JEM Internal Ball Camera taking a video.
A floating drone, designed to help monitor the work of crew onboard the International Space Station, has beamed back to Earth its first images from inside the low-orbit satellite.

Manufactured by 3D-printing, the Int-Ball is a robotic camera drone produced by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and has been on board the ISS since June.

Resembling a droid from the Star Wars movie series, the curious looking sphere can move autonomously in space but can also capture images under the command of operators on Earth.

The robot, which has LED-like eyes, can relieve busy astronauts from duties such as photography and also enables flight controllers on Earth to "check the crew's work from the same viewpoint as the crew."

While the Int-Ball is certainly an innovative android, its movement is managed by relatively simple technology - a fan concealed inside its spherical body.

New footage released from JAXA shows the Int-Ball recording researchers inside Japan's Kibo module on the ISS, while a team tracks its performance from the Tsukuba Space Center.