Cape Canaveral, Fla. (Reuters) – A science fiction-inspired robot hardwired to assist astronauts will launch from Florida early Friday morning to become the first personal, artificial intelligence-powered companion in space.
The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, or CIMON, is an English-speaking droid roughly the size of a basketball that will help German astronaut Alexander Gerst conduct experiments on the International Space Station. CIMON will verbally communicate step-by-step instructions to Gerst during three planned science experiments on the space station’s European module. Currently, astronauts read these instructions from a laptop, which Biniok says is an arduous process that a responsive, hands-free companion like CIMON can replace.
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