Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

SpaceX Is Transporting AI Support Robot CIMON to ISS

SpaceX Is Transporting AI Support Robot CIMON to ISS

On Friday, June 29, the American private company SpaceX conducted a successful launch of Dragon spacecraft, which is to deliver to the worldwide space station (ISS), 2.7 tons of various cargo.

"CIMON has Watson's brain and understands what the astronaut is saying".

The Verge describes CIMON as something that resembles "a volleyball with a computer screen on one side", while FOX News has likened it to HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey movie.

"We are the first company in Europe to carry a free flyer, a kind of flying brain, to the ISS and to develop artificial intelligence for the crew on board the space station".

German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who arrived at the orbiting lab a month ago, will introduce Cimon to space life during three one-hour sessions.

The robot, called Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON), has been developed by Airbus in partnership with IBM.

Just before dawn on Friday, SpaceX launched a spaceship with almost 6,000 lbs of cargo to the International Space Station. "But with an artificial intelligence, you have instantly all the knowledge of mankind".

As part of the contract with NASA $ 1.6 billion (about 11,000 crores), unmanned Dragon capsules made 5,900 pounds (2,700 kg) on the 15th supply mission in the class laboratory.

When Gerst calls to CIMON, the floating robot will acoustically sense where Gerst is calling from, orient itself that way, and zoom over.

With reassurances like that, the six crew members must be pretty excited to meet CIMON. CIMON doesn't have any arms or legs, so it can't assist with any physical tasks, but it features a language user interface, allowing crew members to verbally communicate with it.

CIMON is equipped with a microphone on back, an infrared camera on the front, two batteries, and perhaps most importantly, an "offline" button. Complete with facial recognition, CIMON will help astronauts perform various tasks and aid them in working through problems when needed.

Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, U.S. astronauts onboard the ISS, will use the Canadarm2 to grab the Dragon spacecraft.

CIMON was built in a joint partnership between IBM and Airbus, and the ESA will be the ones to test it out, but it could be a sign of even greater things to come.

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