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Emotionally Intelligent Robot CIMON 2 Heads to Space Station


Keith Wilkinson

     Another robot with artificial intelligence is headed for the International Space Station (ISS) reports Abc news go. The astronaut assistant known as CIMON 2 or (Crew Interactive MObile companioN) just launched for the orbiting lab aboard Space’s robotic Dragon cargo capsule, which lifted off  (Dec. 5) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

   Developed and built in Germany, CIMON is a technology experiment to support astronauts and increase the efficiency of their work. CIMON is able to show and explain information and instructions for scientific experiments and repairs. The voice-controlled access to documents and media is an advantage, as the astronauts can keep both hands free.

   “CIOMON,  acts as a flying brain with information,” Biniok said citing Forbes. “If the astronaut doesn’t know something…Cimon can help to find the right answer or the relevant information.” Its two main jobs on the ISS will be to assist with and document astronauts’ experiments.

    CIMON can also orientate itself using its ‘eyes’ – a stereo camera and a high-resolution camera that it uses for facial recognition – as well as two other cameras fitted to its sides that it uses for photos and video documentation. Ultrasound sensors measure distances to recognize potential collisions. Its ‘ears’ consist of eight microphones to identify directions, and an additional directional microphone to improve voice recognition. Its ‘mouth’ is a loudspeaker that it can use to speak or play music. “CIMON-2’s microphones are more sensitive, and it has a more advanced sense of direction. 

 “We hope to have him accepted as a true assistant on the ISS,” Matthias Biniok, the lead Watson architect for Germany at IBM and a developer behind the robot, told ABC News Wednesday. Its two main jobs on the ISS will be to assist with and document astronauts’ experiments.

 “CIMON-2 is expected to remain on the ISS and support the crew for up to three years,” explains Till Eisenberg, CIMON Project Manager at Airbus.

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