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New Robot in Space: CIMOT-2 Back on ISS

The flying emotional robot with the human face and the body sphere arrived on the ISS.

Dragon, an American cargo ship, delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) a new robot with artificial “emotional intelligence” CIMON-2, as it was reported by Extreme Tech.

The latest CIMON-2 robot was created by the German Aerospace Center, Airbus, and IBM. This robot should become an assistant to the astronauts and it is the new generation of the CIMON robot, which has already been working for 14 months on the ISS since 2018.

Outwardly, the robot looks like a volleyball with a display that shows a human face at rest. It is about the same size as a ball, although it weighs five kilograms. CIMON-2 can see and talk with people, and its built-in AI means that it constantly continues to learn as it interacts with crew members. He is also equipped with face recognition software that allows him to distinguish who he is talking to.

Currently, CIMON-2 is designed to work on three specific tasks: working with crystals, assembling a Rubik’s cube and performing a complex medical experiment when the robot acts as an “intelligent” flying camera. At the moment, the main goal of CIMON-2 is to demonstrate the benefits of human and machine cooperation in space, as well as increase efficiency and reduce the load on the ISS. Perhaps in the future, these artificial intelligence technologies can help astronauts with large tasks, as repairing spacecraft or treating sick crew members.

It’s known that the robot will work at the station for up to three years. It is equipped with more sensitive microphones and better orientation, along with improved AI capabilities and stability when performing complex tasks. Also, the bot can understand not only speech but also the intentions of the speaker. A new space robot uses the IBM Watson Tone Analyzer cloud technology, which allows it to evaluate human emotions and respond to the situation accordingly. Using these technologies, the robot will be able to switch between researchers as needed. According to, the CIMON-2 artificial intelligence will be uploaded to the ISS cloud to provide more autonomy to the space station.

This space station robot can independently navigate the ISS compartments, read texts, record videos of ongoing experiments, and even talk to astronauts, who can also instruct him to photograph something at the station and report back.

A feature of the new model is improved navigation and the ability to recognize human emotions. So, if the astronaut is in a good mood, the work will be more talkative, or vice versa, the robot in space will not distract a person focused on the matter. The developer’s goal for the CIMON-2 artificial intelligence Watson Tone Analyzer, created by IBM, is to use the robot during missions to the Moon and Mars.

The Dragon cargo spacecraft was successfully captured by the manipulator of the International Space Station Candarm2 on December 8. The SpaceX cargo ship was launched from the launch pad of NASA’s US aerospace agency on Cape Canaveral on December 5.

So, maybe we will see the nice autonomic robot station soon! 

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