CIMON: AI Based Flying Brain will Assist Astronauts in Space Station (ISS)

Enlarge  SpaceX launches NASA's TESS mission in April 2018. That booster may fly again

CIMON's activation will mark 'a historical moment, ' becoming the first robot of its kind to interact with people in space, said Christian Karrasch, CIMON project manager at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), during a press briefing Thursday.

In the aforementioned science fiction movies, robots were able to provide humans help in scientific endeavors and accomplishing mundane tasks, but they also provided a cure to loneliness and isolation, a friend to confide in while traveling through the void of space.

The basketball-sized device called CIMON - shortened from Crew Interactive MObile CompanioN - was described as a "flying brain" by Manfred Jaumann, head of microgravity payloads at Airbus.

The robot is created to guide Gerst through various science procedures, and show videos or pictures as needed.

CIMON was trained with astronaut lingo and instructional data to walk Gerst through dozens of steps related to his research project either by showing him videos, talking him through the process, or recommending tools.

So let's hope the International Space Station's new AI-powered robot crewmate will behave itself on its first mission into the heavens.

The spacecraft is taking around 2,600 kilograms of supplies to the global space station; these include an AI robot named Cimon, cellular biology equipment for cancer therapy, a chemical garden, and other earth science objects.

To get Cimon's attention, Gerst will need only to call its name. The language of communication with the robot will be English.

Next year, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano will be Cimon's orbital master.

Cimon smiles when it senses the conversation is upbeat and frowns when it's sad.

"Open the pod bay doors, CIMON".

Researchers chose a ball rather than a humanoid face for Cimon because they thought it would be less potentially disturbing or creepy.

SpaceX's spacecraft is scheduled to commence in August its mission to return to Earth to allow NASA to retrieve 3,800 pounds of hardware, research and supplies from the ISS.

Cimon is meant for additional brainpower, so it doesn't have legs or arms. Once fixed, an improved Robonaut may fly back to the space station. The AP is exclusively responsible for all content.

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