The spherical CIMON artificial intelligence (AI) robot aboard the International Space Station (ISS) communicates with IBM's natural-language-processing computer, Watson, on Earth so it can engage with the ISS crew.
Said IBM's Matthias Biniok, "If CIMON is asked a question or addressed, the Watson AI firstly converts this audio signal into text, which is understood, or interpreted, by the AI. IBM Watson not only understands content in context, [but] it can also understand the intention behind it."
Watson delivers a customized reply to an astronaut's query, which is converted into speech and beamed back to the ISS.
CIMON features a central screen displaying a cartoon-like face or required information for experiments and repairs.
In one trial, CIMON identified and recognized an astronaut's face, took photos and video, positioned itself autonomously within a module via ultrasonic sensors, and issued instructions for the crew member to perform an experiment.
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