SpaceX sent to the ISS robot with artificial intelligence
That's about as CIMON will look in orbit. This is a render, but very close to reality.
On Friday, SpaceX sent a payload of 2.7 tons to the ISS. It will be delivered on the spot on Monday, July 2. This time, besides the usual things - food, equipment and materials for experiments, astronauts will receive a robot with artificial intelligence. This is an interactive mobile assistant that is designed for research in space. The device is called CIMON (Crew Interactive MObile сompanioN).
Developed by experts from Airbus and IBM. Externally, the robot resembles a ball, which is equipped with a display and sound sensors to ensure interactivity. CIMON will become a personal assistant for astronaut Alexander Gerst during scientific experiments. Among other things, the robot is the object of research by psychologists: scientists plan to find out whether AI can help relieve astronauts of stress.
A robot can be compared to a volleyball if the ball had a screen. The display shows an animated "face" of the digital assistant, who thus communicates with the inhabitants of the station. The system is able to move independently - for this it is equipped with 14 fans, which act as engines in the absence of attraction. They are located inside the system, so that among other things, the robot is also cooled with their help.
CIMON understands when his name is called. Therefore, as soon as the astronaut from the ISS team needs help, he can call the robot and he will arrive, and quite quickly. CIMON is able to answer questions.
Airbus and IBM created a robot at the request of the German space agency. His work in orbit will allow him to understand whether an electronic assistant can become his own for astronauts. CIMON has already been tested at work, but on Earth, during the flight of a special NASA aircraft, which for a time allows to achieve weightless conditions. The robot was trained by the German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who, as mentioned above, is now in Earth orbit.
Airbus specialists worked on electronics and mechanics, and IBM on software, the AI platform. As soon as the robot is at the station, he will become a participant in a scientific experiment. In particular, he will show his mentor the main points of scientific research that will need to be carried out. Gerst, in turn, will ask a few questions CIMON. All this is necessary to fulfill the mission of CIMON. By the way, the stay of the robot on the ISS will be short - only three hours. Then he will return to Earth. But the information received by him will allow to design such systems for future work.
In addition to the robot, SpaceX sent a special tool to the ISS, which will be attached on the outside of the station to measure the temperature of plants on Earth.. It sounds a bit strange, but it is really necessary - in particular, in order to explore the state of terrestrial ecosystems. Measuring the temperature of plants, scientists plan to find out how much ecosystems are under stress as a result of climate change and direct human exposure.
But that's not all. The flight is notable for the fact that SpaceX sends the first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which has already flown into space, plus the same “used” Dragon. This launch is the third in the SpaceX account, when not only the rocket, but also the Dragon went into space again. As for the latter, he last flew to the ISS in July 2016. Falcon 9, the first stage of the rocket, less "elderly", she flew recently - in April of this year. Then, with the help of Falcon 9, a scientific satellite for NASA, called TESS, was launched into space.
By the way, the rocket that flew this time is a modification of Falcon 9 Block 4. This is the last flight of the rocket, it is not planned to return and use it again. After the current launch, all SpaceX rockets that will go into space belong to the modificationBlock 5 . Mask has already stated that this is an almost perfect construction, which will remain virtually unchanged.