AI-enabled assistant robot returns to the Space Station with improved emotional intelligence

by admin on Dec 06, 2019

The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (or CIMON, for short) taped a variety of firsts on its first mission to the International Space Station. This occurred last November, including becoming the first-ever autonomous free-floating robot to run aboard the station. Also, the first-ever smart astronaut assistant. Yet CIMON is much more than an Alexa for space, as well as CIMON-2, which released aboard today’s SpaceX ISS resupply mission, will show a variety of means the astronaut assistance robot can aid those operating in space– from both a useful and an emotional angle.

CIMON is the product of a collaboration between IBM, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and also Airplane. Its goal is to develop a robot assistant for use in space that can serve many features. It consists of points as ordinary as aiding to recover info and keep track of tasks astronauts are doing aboard the station. Also, as wild as possibly supporting to alleviate or suppress the impacts of social problems that might develop from settings in which a little group works in close quarters over an extended period.

” The objective of mission one was actually to appoint CIMON as well as to recognize if he can collaborate with the astronauts– if there are experiments that he can support,” clarified IBM’s Matthias Biniok, project manager on the Watson AI aspects of the goal. “To ensure that was very successful– the astronauts truly liked working with CIMON.”

” Now, we are checking out the following version: CIMON-2,” Biniok continued. “That has more ability. For example, it has far better software as well as better hardware that has been enhanced based on the results that we had with goal one– and we have added some brand-new features. So for example, on the artificial intelligence side, we have actually something called emotional intelligence, based on our IBM Watson Tone Analyzer, with we’re trying to recognize and also analyze the emotions during a conversation between CIMON as well as the astronauts to see exactly how they’re feeling– if they’re feeling cheerful, if something makes them angry, and so forth.”

That, Biniok claims, could assist evolve CIMON into a robotic countermeasure for something called “groupthink,” a phenomenon in which a group of people that function carefully with each other gradually has all their opinions migrate towards agreement or similarity. A CIMON with proper emotional intelligence might detect when this might be happening, as well as react by either providing a goal, neutral view– or even possibly tackling a contrarian or “Devil’s advocate” perspective, Biniok says.

That’s a future goal, but in the near-term, CIMON can have many sensible benefits only by maximizing time invested in specific jobs by astronauts themselves.

” Time is incredibly pricey on the International Space Station,” Biniok claimed. “As well as it’s minimal, so if we can save some crew time with planning, that would certainly be incredibly handy to the astronauts. CIMON can also support experiments– visualize that you’re an astronaut up there, you have intricate study experiments going on, as well as there’s a substantial quantity of documentation for that. And if you are missing out on some details or you have an inquiry concerning it, then you have to look up in these documents, and that takes time. As opposed to doing that, you could, in fact, simply ask CIMON– so for instance, ‘what’s the next step CIMON?’ or ‘why am I using Teflon and none other materials?’ ”

CIMON can also work as a mobile documentarian, utilizing its onboard camera to tape experiments and even various other activities on the Space Station. It’s able to do so autonomously, as well, Biniok notes, so that an astronaut can theoretically ask it to browse to a particular location, take a picture, then return and show that picture to the astronaut.

This moment about, CIMON will be seeking to stay on the ISS for a much longer span than version one; up to 3 years. Biniok had absolutely nothing specific to share on plans past that, yet did say that long-term, the plan is absolutely to extend CIMON’s goal to consist of the Moon, Mars, and also past.

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