Because robots are the future of space exploration, NASA has decided that it’s high time the International Space Station got its own robot. During a recent press conference, a NASA spokesperson declared that in June or October, they would send up an AI-powered floating robot to help scientists in their experiments.
New International Space Station Robot Created by IBM and Airbus
According to NASA, the new automated assistant is called Crew Interactive Mobile Companion or CIMON, for short, and it will really make a difference in the months to come. Unlike Robonaut which only received menial tasks like giving a spit and shine polish to the station’s handlebars, CIMON will really be used in sensitive research.
CIMON features the latest advances in terms of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Furthermore, since it’s the brainchild of IBM and Airbus, CIMON will also feature the Watson 3D camera, which will greatly improve its spatial recognition and navigating abilities.
If that wasn’t enough, the engineers even gave it the ability to interact and learn from the crew using its voice. Paired with an ever-smiling face, CIMON is sure to make an impression once it arrives on board the International Space Station.
If all goes according to the plan, the AI-powered robot will arrive on the ISS in June or October where it will work side-by-side with German astronaut Alexander Gerst. To test out its abilities to interact with the human crew, NASA has scheduled three types of experiments, stretching over four months.
First, CIMON will have to assist Gerst with his crystal studies. After that, CIMON will try to solve Rubik’s cube as fast as possible under Gerst’s supervision. Last, but not least, the floating robot will have to use its Watson technology in order to assist the astronaut conduct several medical experiments.
Image source: MaxPixel