Meet the first AI astronaut. His name is Cimon, and engineers say they even programmed him with a personality – he’s an ISTJ.
The next shipment headed to the International Space Station packs nearly three tons of research and resupply materials. You know, the typical stuff: sediment studies, a plant thermometer, a replacement hand for the giant robotic Canadarm. Oh, and also a floating robot designed as a helpmeet for astronauts—scientifically, logistically, and emotionally.
The bot’s full name is Crew Interactive Mobile Companion: Cimon. It looks like one of those spherical pool speakers, if you replaced the speaker with a screen that displays a line-sketch face that talks back. This is no full-utility HAL: On this demonstration mission, Cimon is there to help the Station’s commander with three very simple tasks that test its utility. But longer-term, Cimon could also watch and interpret how crew members interact with each other, tracking the social dynamics that might escape the astronauts’ handlers on the ground.