A new team member will join the crew at the International Space Station (ISS). Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON) is an interactive robot that is shaped like a medicine ball with a smiling face. Airbus created Cimon, and it weighs around 5 kilograms.
This interactive robot is a floating brain powered by Al technology. Cimon will help astronauts to perform specific functions including experiments. Cimon will learn from astronauts as they complete their tasks at the ISS, this will help to ‘sharpen’ this interactive robot.
Cimon will assist Alexander Gerst, a German geophysicist in his projects. Alexander Gerst will be making his way to the international space station in the later months of this year. Cimon will join him as his companion.
Gerst contributed to Cimon’s design especially his facial features and voice. There are, however, long-term plans that include Cimon. Researchers want to know how Cimon can help in the missions. Cimon will be working with groups for the missions to Mars and the moon.
One interesting feature about Cimon is that the interactive robot can also solve Rubix cube puzzles, something the robot learned from watching videos. Cimon is up for any Rubix cube competition during the group’s free time.
The robot can also recognize voices and faces of the crew members it would be working with. It will also act as a flying camera to aid in experiments. The robot will also enhance safety at the ISS. This robot will sound an early warning when it detects technical issues on the ISS.
Developers are anticipating that Cimon would adjust fast to the ISS working environment and eventually, it would be able to detect the moods of the astronauts it is working with. They also hope that Cimon would help in complex functions to reduce the workload and increase efficiency.
The interactive robot has also learned to play music; it is mainly tuned to play music loved by Gerst. Cimon is expected to join the crew between June and October 2018.
Cimon is not the only addition to the team. There is also a robotic 3D drone that can move around without any controls. This drone will take videos and photos from space. The videos will be shot in real time.
There has been no interactive robot that fully understands human emotions to the point of comforting humans. Even the emotional robot, Pepper, could not attain that feat.