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.

Read the full story on Wired here.

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