Sci-tech

Airbus Introduces CIMON, An AI Companion For The ISS

Airbus Introduces CIMON, An AI Companion For The ISS”

Cimon is a floating ball-shaped robot with a smiling face who loves music and an appreciation of music and boasts a vocabulary of more than 1,000 sentences.

Cimon - Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN - was developed by Airbus in cooperation with IBM, and is described as an artificial intelligence-based assistant for astronauts for the DLR, or German, Space Administration.

This involved providing the Watson AI with voice samples and photos of Gerst as well as procedures and plans of the Columbus module of the International Space Station.

Manfred Jaumann, head of microgravity payloads from Airbus, says: "Cimon will be the first AI-based mission and flight assistance system". It uses Watson AI technology from the IBM cloud and, with its face, voice and artificial intelligence, it becomes a true "colleague" on board. For people imagining the androids from the Alien franchise, or even HAL-9000 from the iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey, that's not quite what Airbus is building. The Astrobees are tasked with observing and recording data to help scientists and engineers develop and test tech for use in low gravity environments that can assist astronauts with routine chores. He added that CIMON will be a "a free flyer, a kind of flying brain" that will interact with, aid, and learn from astronauts.

Till Eisenberg, Project leader, said: "Cimon is a personal assistant capable of voice and facial recognition".

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The robot will have a stand-alone version of Watson AI in its memory banks. The machine follows him around using an air-propulsion system. It would simplify their routine tasks, entertain them from time to time, and serve as an early warning system to flag technical glitches.

Once the functional test of the system has been completed, Gerst will work in the space with CIMON in three moments: they will experiment with crystals, they will collaborate to solve the Rubik's cube and they will carry out a complex medical experiment using CIMON as an "intelligent" flying camera.

We've seen all kinds of unusual little robot helpers, from Robelf to Temi, but Cimon is probably the weirdest: it's a floating face in a ball, created to help astronauts carry out tasks on deep space missions.and keep an eye on them.

Ultimately, CIMON will spy on space station astronauts to help assess their emotional states and psychological "group effects", Biniok said - a feature that could help better engineer months- or years-long journeys to the moon or Mars.

In its first space mission, CIMON will be equipped only with a selected series of capabilities.



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