First Autonomous AI assistant launches


The first autonomous AI based assistant to the International Space Station (ISS) was launched on June 29 at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) was developed and built in Germany on behalf of the DLR Space Administration. CIMON is able to see, hear, understand, speak – and fly.



CIMON is an innovative assistance system for astronauts, which is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and can act autonomously. Not only can CIMON ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘understand’ and ‘speak’ with its cameras, sensors, microphones and processors, but it can also present and explain a wide range of information, as well as experiment and repair instructions. CIMON can even perform simple routine tasks such as documenting experiments or searching for objects.


CIMON was created using 3D printing technology and is made of plastic and metal. It weighs approximately 5 kilograms and is about 32 centimetres ( diameter).


IBM developed the AI for CIMON which will join ISS Commander Alexander Gerst as an astronaut assistant and will help him conduct scientific experiments for the mission “Horizons.”



The Horizons mission is running from June to October and CIMON will be helping Dr. Gerst perform various tasks, including collaborating to solve a Rubik’s cube and making use of its camera to help with a complex medical experiment. The camera can be controlled by ISS crew members or by ground staff, and is designed to “provide high quality video data of complex activities, which is of high value for the science groups on Earth and will help for data evaluation.”



Source: Airbus, IBM & DLR ( German Aerospace Centre)