SpaceX Propels AI-powered Robot To Assist Astronauts In The Cosmos

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Called CIMON, or Crew Interactive MObile companioN, the floating orb uses artificial intelligence to listen for commands and then display experiment or fix instructions.

AI robot Cimon, pronounced Simon, has been trained to help German astronaut Alexander Gerst with experiments and will remain indefinitely on the orbiting lab. The robot is spherical and looks have a computer screen on one side. "We are very happy that CIMON will be the first artificial intelligence in space". So while the robot could assist the five other station astronauts, it is best suited for Gerst, according to Karrasch.

Currently, astronauts read these instructions from a laptop, which Mr. Biniok says is an arduous process that a responsive, hands-free companion like CIMON can replace.

The robot will independently move around the ISS and communicate with the crew, prompting and displaying the desired information.

In addition to technical information, a neural network is loaded into the operating system of the robot can detect the mood of the astronauts and to sympathize with them - to rejoice or empathize. "Spaceflight missions put the crew under a substantial amount of stress and workload, and it is thought that A.I. could provide operational support to crew members,"NASA said".

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Philipp Schulien, a German engineer for CIMON's hardware contractor, Airbus (AIR.PA), said extending astronauts' abilities in space is imperative for future space exploration journeys, like the crewed missions to Mars that are scheduled to take off as early as 2020. What's more, activities and tasks performed by ISS crew members are starting to get more complicated, so an AI could help.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40. After this flight, all future of SpaceX will be on the Falcon 9 launch block 5-the ultimate and most powerful upgrade of the rocket which makes the land and even easier to reuse.

The spacecraft, packed with almost 2,700 kg of scientific gear, supplies and vehicle hardware, was lifted off at 5:42 a.m. local time (0942 GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The mission called CRS-15 was SpaceX's 15th of 20 planned under a NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract awarded almost a decade ago.