While demonstrating the formidable capabilities of the Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN (aka CIMON) aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the wonderfully prolific and communicative ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst asked the smiling, 3D printed, voice activated assistant to play his favorite song. CIMON responded with “The Man Machine” by Kraftwerk.
Cimon weighs around 5kg and has a display screen at its centre. Its main aim is to support and increase astronaut efficiency by displaying and explaining information needed to carry out scientific experiments and repairs. Other applications include mobile photography and videography and the ability to document experiments, search for objects and maintain an inventory. Cimon can also see, hear and understand what it observes and is equipped with an autonomous navigation system, allowing Alexander to issue voice commands like you would to virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri or Cortana on the ground.
Straight out of a sci-fi movie? Not yet, but a successful first technology demonstration of a @DLR_en experiment, designed to test what future human-robot interaction might look like in space. And #CIMON even plays @kraftwerk on command! https://t.co/e30iIzdO68 #Horizons
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) November 30, 2018