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Meet CIMON, the first artificial intelligence robot to fly in space



  Meet CIMON, the first artificial intelligence robot to fly in space

A small robot called CIMON (short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) will arrive at the International Space Station on July 2, 2018. The first robot with artificial intelligence ever to fly into space, said the project team

Credit: DLR / T. Englisch: www.cosmetic-business.com/en/showar…p?art_id=844. Bourry / ESA

A beautiful friendship between man and machine in space can only just have begun.

Early in the morning (June 29), a small artificial intelligence (AI) robot embarked on a two-day voyage to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Dragon Cargo capsule. No other AI-powered device has ever flown into space before, project team members said.

The task of Bantam's astronaut assistant ̵

1; known as CIMON, short for "Crew Interactive Mobile Companion" – is relatively short and modest. But his work outside the earth could help pave the way for some pretty big things, according to NASA officials. [Real-Life ‘Replicants’: 6 Humanoid Robots Used for Space Exploration]

"Having AI – this knowledge base and the ability to use it in ways that are useful for the task you are doing is really crucial to getting people ever further from the planet to have." Kirk Shireman, NASA's International Space Station (ISS) program manager, said yesterday (June 28) during a pre-launch press conference, "We need to have autonomy," he added. "We need tools like these for the species to live successfully off the planet."

CIMON was developed by the European aerospace company Airbus on behalf of the German Space Agency is known under the acronym DLR. The robot's AI is the famous Watson system from IBM.

CIMON is approximately spherical and weighs 11 lbs. (5 kilograms). The robot can talk to people and thanks to the facial recognition software, he knows who he's talking to. (CIMON has a face of her own – a simple cartoon character.) The astronaut assistant is also mobile; Once CIMON is aboard the ISS, it can fly around sucking in air and expelling through special tubes.

Although CIMON is flexible enough to interact with anyone, it is "tailor-made" to the astronauts of the European Space Agency Alexander Gerst arrived earlier this month with a Russian Soyuz spacecraft aboard the ISS. CIMON's mission is for the robot to work with Gerst in three separate investigations.

  A close-up of CIMON, the Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, one with A.I. equipped robot, which is the first of its kind in space flies. In the background (from left to right): CIMON project manager Christian Karrasch; Till Eisenberg CIMON project manager at Airbus; and Christoph Kossl, Airbus Software Systems Engineer.

A close-up of CIMON, the Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, one with A.I. equipped robot, which is the first of its kind in space flies. In the background (from left to right): CIMON project manager Christian Karrasch; Till Eisenberg CIMON project manager at Airbus; and Christoph Kossl, Airbus Software Systems Engineer.

Photo credits: DLR / T. Bourry / ESA

"They will experiment with crystals, work together to solve the Rubik's Cube and conduct a complex medical experiment with CIMON as an 'intelligent & # 39; flying camera", Airbus representatives wrote in a mission statement earlier this year [19659005] CIMON will be a very dedicated partner in this work, which will take a total of 3 hours.

"Alexander Gerst could say something like that," CIMON, could you please help me with a specific experiment, could you please help me with the procedure? "" Philipp Schulien, a CIMON system engineer at Airbus, said yesterday at another press conference. "And then CIMON will fly to Alexander Gerst and they will already start communicating."

CIMON will be able to access many relevant information, including photos and videos, about the issue in question And the astronaut helper is smart enough to deal with "questions beyond the process" that barley could have.

CIMON's mission is a technology demonstration designed to show researchers how humans behave and machines can interact and collaborate in the space environment. It will take a while for intelligent robots to be ready to move on to the final frontier It's hard to lift – say, astronauts help repair damaged spacecraft systems or treat sick crewmembers. But this day is likely to come.

"For us, this is a piece of the future for manned spaceflight," said Christian Karrasch, CIMON project manager at DLR yesterday.

"If you go to the moon or to Mars, you can not take all the people and engineers with you," added Karrasch. "Well, the astronauts, they'll be on their own, but with artificial intelligence, you immediately have all the knowledge of humanity."

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.


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