Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be bringing a robot named CIMON back to life, as it has a new purpose.
CIMON-2 stands for "Crew Interactive Mobile Companion", and has previously worked with two European astronauts on missions. The robot has been in storage since Luca Parmitano departed the ISS in February 2020, but it recently received a software upgrade that gives it the ability to perform more complex tasks, allowing it to provide astronauts with more assistance.
Till Eisenberg, the CIMON project manager at Airbus who partnered with the German Aerospace Centre DLR and the LMU University in Munich, said, "The sphere is just the front end. All the voice recognition and artificial intelligence happens on Earth at an IBM data center in Frankfurt, Germany. The signal from CIMON has to travel through satellites and ground stations to the data centre and back. We focused on improving the robustness of this connection to prevent disruptions."
Airbus and DLR have signed a contract that details CIMON will work with four European Space Agency astronauts over four years. During this period of time, the robot will participate in experiments that will test its new software designed to guide and document complete scientific procedures. For more information on this story, check out this link here.