CIMON The Robot Makes ISS Debut, Tells Astronaut to 'Be Nice'

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst gets a demo of a new robot assistant called CIMON aboard the ISS
Jessica Miley

There are three new astronauts on the way to the ISS, but while they travel through space existing crew on board are having fun with someone else.

Watch this incredible video that shows ESA astronaut, Alexander Gerst, interacting for the first time with CIMON.

Short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, Cimon is a 3D-printed plastic sphere designed to test human-machine interaction in space.

Cimon was built by Airbus in Friedrichshafen and Bremen, Germany, on behalf of German Space Agency DLR, and is embedded with artificial intelligence software by IBM Watson.

Gerst and CIMON interact with each other in a series of short conversations that cover going through a science experiment together to playing Gert’s favourite songs (Kraftwerk by the way!)

Cimon seems to really love being in music mode and for a while, it looks like he won’t stop playing tracks despite being ordered to.

At this point, CIMON really starts to feel himself and tells Gerst to “Be nice please”.

Later he floats away from his set position and sulkily asks “Don’t you like it here with me?”

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Later he tells Gerts to stop being so mean before telling him to go eat something because he can hear his stomach roaring.

The whole thing definitely had a slight HAL 9000 and David Bowman vibe to it.

But Gerst and fellow ISS crew member Auñón-Chancellor seem happy with the demonstration. Cimon’s developers will continue to work the ESA on robotic assistants and AI in space.

Via: European Space Agency, ESA

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