Cimon, the world's first AI-powered astronaut assistant, has returned to the International Space Station--this time with a heightened ability to analyse human emotion. The objective, according to the researchers who fine-tuned the robot after its first successful mission aboard the spacecraft, is to transform Cimon from a scientific assistant into "an empathetic companion". As was the original Cimon, which spent 14 months in space, the new and improved Cimon-2 is a joint project by IBM, Airbus and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Cimon-1 returned to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) in August. Cimon-2 is heading back to the space station on a SpaceX rocket that launched 4 December from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Aeronautics company Airbus has successfully launched an AI assistant called CIMON into space. The artificial intelligence system is the first to arrive on the International Space Station (ISS) and is powered by IBM's Watson supercomputer and overseen by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in cooperation with Airbus. CIMON stands for "Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN" and is a mobile and autonomous system designed to help astronauts with everyday tasks on the ISS, while also providing companionship. CIMON was created using 3D printing and made of plastic and metal. "We are the first company in Europe to carry a free flyer, a kind of flying brain, to the ISS and to develop artificial intelligence for the crew on board the space station," said Manfred Jaumann of Airbus.
CIMON is designed to support astronauts in performing routine work, for example by displaying procedures or -- thanks to its --neural-- AI network and its ability to learn -- offering solutions to problems. It uses Watson AI technology from the IBM cloud and, with its face, voice and artificial intelligence, becomes a genuine --colleague-- on board. With CIMON, crew members can do more than just work through a schematic view of prescribed checklists and procedures; they can also engage with their assistant. In this way, CIMON makes work easier for the astronauts when carrying out every day routine tasks, helps to increase efficiency, facilitates mission success and improves security, as it can also serve as an early warning system for technical problems.