Robots capable of perceiving the emotions we are used to seeing in sci-fi movies became real. A smart robot, which can detect emotions with the help of voice detectors, was sent to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched Thursday from its Florida base to provide assistance to astronauts.
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule successfully delivered tons of fresh supplies and equipment for NASA, including a friendly floating robot called CIMON and some “mighty mice” to the International Space Station on Sunday.
The capsule delivers more than 5,700 lbs (2,585 kilograms) of supplies, including more than 2,100 lbs. (952 kg) of gear for 38 different experiments on the orbiting lab. The spacecraft soared 260 miles (420 kilometers) above the South Pacific at the time of capture.
The main attraction of this transport on the ISS is undoubtedly CIMON 2 (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion 2), a spherical droid equipped with microphones, video cameras, and a series of programs that allow you to recognize emotions.
Working with algorithms built by the information technology giant IBM Corp and the information provided by CIMON 1, an almost identical prototype launched in 2018, CIMON 2 will be more sociable with crew members.
It will test technologies that may prove crucial to future missions in far-off space, where long-term isolation and communication gaps with Earth pose a risk to the astronauts’ mental health. Designed to help astronauts perform scientific experiments, the robot, which communicates in English, is also ready to provide assistance in the case of group conformism, a behavioral phenomenon in which people can be determined to make irrational decisions.
The Dragon capsule also carried 40 intrepid mice that will help scientists study the changes in muscle microgravity within the framework of the “Mighty Mice in Space” experiment.
SpaceX is the first private company to fly to the International Space Station as part of a $100 billion project involving 15 states. The payload transported on ISS is SpaceX’s 19th delivery to the orbiting outpost for NASA over the past seven years.