SpaceX sends AI robot to space station

SpaceX sends AI robot to space station

SpaceX sends AI robot to space station

This medicine ball-shaped, weighing at around 11-pound, Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON) is the first AI-powered device that is being sent to space. Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut now aboard the ISS, helped design CIMON's screen prompts and vocal controls. The CRS-15 cargo Dragon spacecraft began its ascent toward the International Space Station at 5:42 a.m. EDT.

SpaceX employs the Falcon 9 rocket used for this mission, as well as uses the Dragon Cargo Capsule used to supply all the ISS.

Slightly bigger than a basketball, the round, 3D-printed German Space Agency robot will assist German astronaut Alexander Gerst with science experiments.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at its scheduled time of 5:42 a.m. Friday.

NASA's commentator said, "We have ignition and liftoff!"

To get Cimon's attention, Gerst will need only to call its name.

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According to, CIMON features ultrasonic sensors for collision detection as well as various cameras and microphones to help it maneuver around the spacecraft and interact with space crew.

The robot has been described as a "flying brain" by Manfred Jaumann, head of microgravity payloads at Airbus. "It understands Alexander", said Bret Greenstein, global vice president of Watson Internet of Things Offerings at IBM.

All six crew members at the orbiting outpost can speak to CIMON, though it has been taught to work best with Gerst. In fact, CIMON was programmed to have a specific ISTJ personality (introverted, sensing, thinking and judging), which enables it to be work-focused during experiments and more casual during downtime.

NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will use the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station on Monday, July 2.

ECOSTRESS will use a space-based measurement of plant change and response to water access to provide potential approaches to agricultural water management.

US aerospace manufacturer SpaceX launched a Dragon spacecraft Friday morning on a mission to take supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) as well as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot.

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