But now, an actual free-floating robotic head known as CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN), will bring these speculative visions to life, assuming it is safely delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) this June.
CIMON is on track to be the “first AI-based mission and flight assistance system,” on the station, according to Manfred Jaumann, Airbus’s head of microgravity payloads, who described the bot as a “a kind of flying brain” in a Monday statement.
The robot weighs five kilograms (11 pounds) and is about the size of a basketball. It was developed by the aeronautics company Airbus, IBM’s Watson AI laboratory, and the DLR Space Administration, Germany’s space agency.
When German astronaut Alexander Gerst heads back to the ISS for his second expedition this summer, CIMON will work with him as an occasional assistant. Gerst will test out the bot’s AI skills on three experiments—one involving crystal research, another with medical applications, and a third in which the robot/human pair will solve a Rubik’s Cube together.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.