A very curious robot will be onboard the ISS during the next mission of replenishing the stock of SpaceX. It is made in the form of a ball with a flattened side with a screen on which his face is painted. He can speak, respond to oral commands and fly. The robot is called CIMON, abbreviated from the “interactive mobile companion of the crew”, and it essentially represents the flying brain from IBM with the body and the mechanism for flying from Airbus. This is a joint project of companies that should simplify the work of astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
The robot was developed in order to display on the screen instructions for repair on the voice command, and the hands of the astronauts were free or busy repairing. CIMON will also be able to demonstrate experiment procedures and simply serve as a stand-alone voice database. Before he earns full force, he will have to undergo several tests upon arrival at the station.
German astronaut Alexander Gerst will use CIMON for experiments with crystals and Rubik’s cube, as well as for conducting a medical experiment during which the robot will serve as a flying camera. IBM trained CIMON using Gerst’s voice, and the current version of the robot responds specifically to his commands. This will help the space agencies around the world find out how useful AI is in space and whether it can be taken in the future in long-term missions.
The Falcon 9 rocket with CIMON and the supplies of astronauts, as well as with new scientific instruments, will have to depart today, June 29, unless the launch is postponed due to weather conditions.
Updated: the missile successfully launched, the cargo entered the docking orbit and will be on the ISS in three days.