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CIMON the European space robot cops an attitude



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By Alex Johnson

As he entered his final month on the International Space Station on Monday, Alexander Gerst could be proud that he helped given birth to a healthy, if moody, robot.

Gerst, a German astronaut and geophysicist for the European Space Agency, or ESA, is commander of the space station's 57th mission. Astronauts, including two from NASA, and at 1

1-pound 3D-printed plastic ball named CIMON – C rew I nteractive MO Bile Companio N .

CIMON, which was built by Airbus for Watson's artificial intelligence, has a video-screen face, along with a camera and a digital voice so it can talk to the astronauts.

Eventually, CIMON is intended to carry out experiments and repairs. But at this early stage of its existence, its job is to become Gerst's friend. And what is the case, friends can be a little tetchy.

When CIMON was delivered to the space for its first test run on Nov. 15, it responded to the command "Wake up, CIMON," by Gerst's Twitter account, CIMON successfully recognizes Gerst's face turns 90 degrees on command and helps Gerst with an experiment.


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