There’s a new astronaut on its behavior to the International Space Station this morning aboard SpaceX’s most recent resupply launch, and it’s simply the size of a drug ball. CIMON( Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) is an artificial intelligence assistant designed by Airbus and IBM to assist the European Space Agency’s cosmonauts in everyday duties aboard the ISS. Weighing in at simply 11 pounds and approximately the size of a drug ball, this minute astronaut is equipped with the neural network strength of IBM’s Watson.
Crew members will be able to correspond with CIMON via voice commands and access a database of procedures. CIMON will likewise be able to detect the crew members’ moods and react accordingly, Till Eisenberg, CIMON project lead at Airbus, told SPACE.com.
In a February press release announcing CIMON’s advent, Airbus said that CIMON’s emotional intelligence, in addition to its friendly face and voice, will help it operate like a true crew member aboard the station. To start, CIMON even has a built-in friend.
Before determining off today, CIMON has been taught alongside German astronaut Alexander Gerst to realise Gerst’s voice and face and help him complete three different undertakings while aboard the ISS. CIMON will help the geophysicist and volcanologist survey crystals on the space station, solve a Rubik’s cube using video data and play the role of an “intelligent camera” to document a medical experiment on-board.
CIMON’s mission with Gerst will take place between this June and October 2018, but Airbus said that he hoped in the future CIMON will be able to observe crew members on longer missions and assistance scientists understand better the social dynamics involved in extended space flight — an issue that will be paramount for any dreamings of Martian colonies to come.