On June 29th, the Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, otherwise known as CIMON, embarked on a two-day journey to the International Space Station.
This robot with artificial intelligence was made by Airbus (European company that manufactures and sells aeronautical products). IBM’s Watson system acts as CIMON’s AI.
Tomorrow CIMON, the astronaut assistant ?? will join @Astro_Alex on the ISS @space_station in a #Dragon cargo from Cape Canaveral ?
The AI-based companion was developed by @AirbusSpace in cooperation with @IBM for the German Space Administration @DLR_de. #innovation #NewSpace pic.twitter.com/4akQokkEYw
— Airbus Space (@AirbusSpace) June 28, 2018
The sphere-shaped robot weighs roughly 11 lbs. It can interact with anyone and determine who exactly it’s talking to by using facial recognition. As you can see above, CIMON has a face of its own as well.
“Having AI — having that knowledge base and the ability to tap into it in a way that’s useful for the task that you’re doing — is really critical for having humans further and further away from the planet,”
CIMON’s mission is to help German astronaut Alexander Gerst complete three different objectives. It will assist Gerst in an experiment with crystals, work together to solve a Rubik’s cube and perform a medical experiment using the AI as an ‘intelligent’ camera.
The robot will also assist the European Space Agency astronauts aboard the International Space Station. This mission for the AI assistant will start when it arrives at the ISS July 2nd. As for when the AI companion will be returning, well, we aren’t sure. Matthias Biniok (who led the Crew Interactive Mobile Companion project) told ABC News:
“CIMON has no come-back date as of yet, Hopefully, CIMON will stay there and help many astronauts in their tasks at the ISS.”
We will keep you updated on this project as we get more information.
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