Robotic virtual assistant will equip the Space Station
A flight attendant called CIMON is being sent to the International Space Station (ISS). This equipment has as mission to help the European astronaut Alex Gerst in his investigation.
For the first time, Artificial Intelligence and the Human Being will be in Space, side by side .
Increasingly and with each passing year, we are more aided and even begin to rely on virtual assistants, as we know Alexa, Siri and other services that help us in tasks such as choosing our music, managing household equipment and even performing tasks programmed indoors and beyond.
In a sense of taking advantage of this kind of automation, Airbus is designing a similar mission assistant to help astronauts complete their daily tasks on the International Space Station.
The European company that manufactures airplanes is developing the Crew Interactive MObile CompanioN, known as CIMON, in collaboration with the space administration of the German aerospace center. This project aims to put, for the first time, artificial intelligence in the ISS.
CIMON takes the form of a spherical and free-flying robot, which can move independently around the station. It has the appearance of a therapeutic ball and weighs approximately 11 kilos.
The technology is set to run the task test onboard the ISS in June 2018. This robot will help astronaut Alexander Gerst during the Horizons mission of the European Space Agency until October 2018. CIMON uses a modified version of the Watson AI IBM and was taught to recognize the voice of Gerst and his appearance.
CIMON features include displaying visual instructions for a specific onscreen procedure, providing solutions to problems, and giving early warning for technical issues.
The CIMON is designed to help Gerst, however, the robot will be tested during your stay and will learn by yourself. Gerst is prepared to collaborate with CIMON on three projects to test the wizard's capabilities. Among these projects is an experiment where CIMON will serve as a flying camera during a complex medical task, and in another, the astronaut and the AI will try to solve the Rubik's Cube.
According to a report from the MIT Technology Review , Airbus wants to use CIMON to investigate how the presence of an Artificial Intelligence assistant affects social dynamics in a small group. In addition to CIMON being able to play an important role in future space travel or missions to Mars, Airbus hopes the wizard will also serve a purpose on Earth to work in hospitals, providing social service in a kind of alternative and sophisticated Alexa.