Robot with artificial intelligence about to invade space


An Earth science instrument built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and experiments investigating cellular biology and artificial intelligence, are among the research heading to the International Space Station following Friday's launch of a NASA-contracted SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at 5:42 a.m. EDT.

In the early hours on Friday, SpaceX's Block 4 Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, carrying 5,900 pounds of supplies, including a droid named CIMON and coffee from Death Wish Coffee Company, to the International Space Station.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk wants to reduce the cost of space flight by making more parts of the rocket reusable - and with a quick turnaround. The capsule is scheduled to reach the station on July 2. It is developed by Airbus in collaboration with IBM.

Both vehicles for the mission are previously flown: The booster, a previous-generation Block 4 Falcon 9 known as B1045, launched NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, in April.

When Gerst calls to CIMON, the floating robot will acoustically sense where Gerst is calling from, orient itself that way, and zoom over.

'This is created to work in English.

'It will come to him when he speaks'.

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Researchers say CIMON is not yet trained to respond to all possible emergencies and protocols on the space station.

Oliver Steinbock from Florida State University said one of the main goals of simulating chemical gardens in space is to develop a new type of engineering. Already savvy about Gerst's science experiments, the self-propelling Cimon will float at the astronaut's side and help, when asked, with research procedures.

Using microphones, cameras, and a battery of other sensors, the AI will be used to help Gerst carry out experiments to explore how the crystallization of materials differs in space compared to Earth, an IBM spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

The mission, which is part of a $1.6 billion contract between privately owned SpaceX and USA space agency NASA, should reach the station on July 2.

Astronauts repaired the arm's current hand - which was growing arthritic after 17 years of use - during a series of spacewalks in recent months.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.