A ball-shaped robot built by Airbus at the German Aerospace Center is helping astronauts on the International Space Station manage tasks, stress, and the isolation of living 200 miles above our planet’s surface.
In addition to autonomously navigating the European Columbus research module, the CIMON-2 robot can detect astronauts' emotions and tone during conversations and respond in different tones, from teasing to sad.
It also can read instructions to guide the astronauts through various procedures. The robot is equipped with two cameras for facial recognition, and five additional cameras assist with navigation and recording video.
Said IBM's Matthias Biniok, "CIMON is a technology experiment to find out how virtual agents can support astronauts and increase the efficiency of their work."
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