In terms of glitchy behavior, we're not yet quite at HAL 9000 levels – but the free floating device during the first demonstration of the new AI-powered robot CIMON of the International Space Station was highly controversial.
CIMON, Crew Interactive is the first interactive flight companion to take part in an ISS mission short for the MObile companioN.
The US6 ($ 8) million, basketball-sized robot was built by Airbus under a contract issued by the German Aviation Center (DLR). The aim of the project is to see if an artificially intelligent boat can improve crew productivity and morale on long missions, including a possible mission to Mars.
The CIMON has no arms or legs, but some AI-powered smartphones and a natural user interface. The 3D printed robot has 12 internal fans, which allows the area to move in multiple directions while swimming in microgravity conditions. The bot can display instructions on screen, capture video, play music, and even search for objects.
CIMON was handed over to ISS at the end of June, and we finally activated this boat thanks to the new video of the European Space Agency (ESA).
The video shows the first interactions of CIMON on the ISS – and it's still just rough around the edges.
German astronaut Alexander Gerst, along with NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, is asking some basic questions to CIMON, things are moving smoothly at first. CIMON tells the name of Gerst & # 39; s, as well as his ability to bend the china robotic face. After helping with a scientific procedure, CIMON plays the song "Man-Machine" from Kraftwerk, the favorite song by Gerst. Very nice choice.
But then, at the video's 4:08 sign, CIMON starts to behave a little strangely. Beyond that point, the show looks like a scene taken 2001: A Space OdysseyCIMON, HAL 9000 and Gerst & # 39; s David Bowman.
CIMON doesn't want to get past the music mode, making Gerst & # 39; s unwelcome and asking him to stop being so bad. At this point the common glance between Gerst and Auñón-Chancellor – 6: 4 sign – absolutely priceless. CIMON who acts like a three-year-old, "You're not coming here with me?" He asks. and immediately begin to sink towards the deck. And then he asks the crew for lunch.
Okay, not the smoothest start.
Despite the irregular behavior of CIMON, however, Gerst completed the robot's ability to move motionless in the cabin. It's still early for this project, but CIMON provides at least some funny relief. Indeed, as part of its mission, the CIMON team had to keep the morale high, so it was already successful in their unexpected shenanigans.
At least until CIMON locks Gerst outside the ISS during the next spacewalk.[ESA]